Labour Party in Ekiti State on Wednesday alleged that the All Progressives Congress in the state sent thugs to attack the LP governorship candidate, Opeyemi Bamidele, in Ipole Iloro during a visit to the traditional ruler of the town.
Our correspondent learnt that Bamidele, who was on a campaign tour of the area, had decided to pay a courtesy visit to the monarch, Oba Ezekiel Oladele, when some hoodlums, suspected to be members of the APC, allegedly attacked the LP supporters.
The LP spokesperson in Ekiti, Bolanle Olatunde-Bruce, said the attack was unexpected “because it was clear that the candidate has never been a man of violence.”
“We have reported to the police. We pray that these people should stop this violent attitude. Labour Party and Bamidele in Ekiti State are not known for violence. All we want is the space to carry out our campaigns and convince the electorate that our party will rescue them from the mess the reign of APC has caused,”Olatunde-Bruce told our correspondent on the telephone.
The media aide to Bamidele, Ahmed Salami, said, “A group of political thugs who tagged themselves APC boys descended on some of our members while our governorship candidate, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, and his entourage were on a visit to the monarch of Ipole Iloro, Oba Ezekiel Oladele.
“It took the immediate intervention of the policemen and those of the Stat Security Service on our campaign train to stop the boys from hurting our members.
“We later confirmed that their aim was to prevent us from gaining entry into the palace.”
Salami said the incident had been reported to the police, adding “we hope for an urgent action to stop such premeditated attacks on our followers.”
But the spokesperson of the Fayemi Campaign Organisation, Mr. Dimeji Daniels, said that it was LP thugs, who, apart from beating some APC members, also vandalised the campaign billboards of Fayemi in the town.
A wife of an APC youth leader in the town, Mrs. Temilade Rasheed, told journalists that she was beaten by the suspected hoodlums she claimed attacked her after somebody identified her as the wife of an APC leader.
She said that she went out to call her daughter when the hoodlums seized and beat her.
Her husband, Mr. Okeowo Rasheed, said he could not go near the scene of the attack to rescue his wife for fear of being killed by the hoodlums.
Rasheed also said that he had reported the matter to the police at the Aramoko Divisional Police Station and that the police promised to visit the town as part of their investigation.
One Samuel Abegunde, who also said that he was a member of the APC, claimed to have witnessed the attack.
He said, “While Opeyemi Bamidele was with the monarch, that boy called Tunde Lau-lau and some others were behind the palace building, beating up a palace worker, Dayo Tijani. Tunde Lau-lau almost beat the Olori when she cautioned him. The policemen that came with Bamidele witnessed everything.
“Go and look at the monarch’s cassava farm behind the palace building; the police shot into the farm. From the action of those policemen, it didn’t seem their job is to protect the people. It rather looked as though they were more concerned about harassing our people.”