By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
Suspected political thugs were said to have clashed in Ibokun, headquarters of Obokun Local Government Area of Osun state, southwest Nigeria on Thursday, 3rd July, 2014, over alleged destruction of campaign billboards and posters of the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate in the August 9 governorship election in the state, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.
Some suspected thugs said to have been hired by yet to be identified political party allegedly destroyed some billboards and posters bearing the face of Governor Aregbesola during the campaign rally of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore in Ibokun.
Earlier before the PDP campaign rally took place, the suspected hired thugs were allegedly seen defacing the posters and billboards of Governor Aregbesola and replacing it with that of Senator Omisore.
Some youths in the town were said to had accosted the hoodlums and challenged them on the reason behind their acts thus leading to hot altercation and exchange of fisticuffs.
The combine intervention of security operatives and the traditional ruler of the town, Alademure of Ibokun, Oba Festus Awogboro, prevented what could have resulted to a bloody political violence.
At the time of filling this reports, calm has been restored in the community while Senator Iyiola Omisore continued with his door-to-door rally in the town. No arrest has been made by the police.
Reacting, the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Ibrahim Maishanu said that the command would not hesitate to deal with anybody whose action was found wanting according to the law.
But the State Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy of APC, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi while reacting claimed that the PDP in the state has introduced terrorism into politics.
According to him, “political terrorism is being introduced into the State of Osun by desperate PDP politicians who want to snatch power by all means; and it would appear they have the blessing of the presidency.
“With Boko Haram terrorists devastating the northeast of Nigeria and stretching the security forces to their limit, it is inconceivable that the ruling party will be setting off political terrorism in the southwest in addition to Boko Haram in the north”.
The APC also alleged that the PDP’s attack on its supporters at Oke Bale in Osogbo, on their way to a mega rally in Ibokun, as well as PDP’s thugs ripping of posters and destroying billboards of Ogbeni Aregbesola in Ibokun and Ilesha are some of the violent means being introduced into politics in the state.
While accusing PDP for increase in violence in the state which appears not unconnected with the desperation of the Presidency to have a foothold in the southwest, the APC condemned the recourse to violence by PDP in Osun who have been boasting publicly to use every means including ‘Federal might’ that can only be authorized by the Presidency to attempt to remove the APC from power in Osun.
When contacted, the Director of Media and Strategy of PDP, Prince Diran Odeyemi contended that the allegation that PDP boys were after posters of Governor Aregbesola was not true and has political undertone.