There was pandemonium in Ile Ife, Osun state, Monday, 7th July, 2014 as political thugs believed to be loyalists of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyiola Omisore, allegedly unleashed attacks on members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In the ensuing attack, it was reported that no fewer than five APC loyalists including a heavily pregnant woman were injured when the hoodlums laid ambush for the APC members during their campaign rally around Gbodo area of the ancient city.
Unconfirmed report stated that one person was killed in the attack.
Leaders of the APC including: Senator representing Osun East Senatorial District in the Upper Legislative Chamber, Senator Jide Omoworare; the member representing Ife Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Honourable Rotimi Makinde; the state Commissioner for Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Sikiru Ayedun; Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Youth and Special Needs, Comrade Biyi Odunlade; member of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Bamisayemi; and a host of others had led other members in continuation of the party’s mobilisation ahead of the August 9 governorship election in the state when they were allegedly ambushed.
Salami Mustapha, Yemi Olaniran, Salami Jelili, Salami Kehinde, Wasiu Aderogba and Folake Salami were some of those who sustained serious injuries and were rushed to hospital for immediate medical help.
Among the victims, the fate of Mrs. Kehinde was said to be pathetic because of her pregnant status.
Odunlade who spoke with a correspondent of thegazellenews.com on telephone from Ife said attacks on APC members has become a daily occurrence in the last few weeks.
“Omisore has vowed to run everybody out of town. But this will not deter the people from voting en mass for Governor Aregbesola,” he said.
Attempts to speak with Omoworare were unsuccessful as his telephone line was switched off.
A police source told our correspondent that the police authority led by the Zonal Commander, AIG David Omolola, had called for calm as the zonal command assured that the attackers would be brought to book.
Secretary of the APC in Osun, Prince Gboyega Famodun, told our correspondent late night on Monday, 7th July, 2014 that his party would not look on while supporters of Omisore continued the attacks on his party members.
The state Police Public Relation Officer, DSP Folashade Odoro, also confirmed the incident, saying the situation is under control.
However, reacting to the allegation, Senator Omisore, who hails from Ife, directed accusing fingers at some chieftains of the APC as the mastermind of the attack.
Speaking through the Director of Publicity for his campaign organization, Prince Diran Odeyemi, the PDP candidate said the attackers were led by APC chieftains including a member of the House of Representatives, Hon Rotimi Makinde, one Dayo Eluyemi and the chairmen of the two local government councils in Ile-Ife.
APC spokesperson in the state, Mr Kunle Oyatomi in his reaction said it was the PDP members that first attacked APC members during a door to door campaign.
“It is a pity that the PDP is looking for power that it cannot give itself.
“We have nothing to fear in Ile Ife. And this was demonstrated at our maiden mega rally right at the centre of the ancient town. People came in their thousands and show support and solidarity in a manner that any first timer in Ile Ife would readily believe and truly so, that Aregbesola has no competitor in the State. Before Omisore stepped into the arena, Osun has been peaceful under Aregbesola. But a potentially treat to peace surfaced with Omisore over interest in becoming governor.
“The question all intelligent people should ask themselves is how can a government of APC that is conscious of critical relationship between peace and development turn round to create violence to stall the very same socio and environmental development it has brought about in Osun?
“In whose interest, therefore is violence necessary in Osun if not the PDP?
“Accusing the APC of violence is PDP’s antics to divert attention from its own criminality,” Oyatomi said.