The Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused some members of the state chapter of the Labour Party of attacking its members.
According to the APC, the attack took place on Tuesday, 22nd April, 2014, at Ipole-Iloro, Ekiti West Local Government Area, while the LP and its governorship candidate, Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele, were on a campaign rally to the town.
According to the APC, “during its rally in Ipole-Iloro, Ekiti West Local Government area of the state, thugs in the convoy of LP’s gubernatorial candidate, Opeyemi Bamidele, descended on APC members in the community, almost beating life out of some of them.
“Some of the LP thugs fingered in the attack were: Tunde Lau-lau, Oni Omolayo, Odole Tolu, Tosin, Eso, Lanre Apabiku (a female) and Deji Fakanle, younger brother to Sola Fakanle, a former caretaker chairman of Ekiti West Local Government.
“What should ordinarily have been about the campaign promises of the LP candidate for the community turned into a nightmare for the peace-loving indigenes of Ipole-Iloro.
“Apart from the animalistic way the LP thugs descended on APC members, campaign billboards of Dr. Kayode Fayemi in the community were torn into shreds”.
Narrating their ordeal in the hands of the political thugs, the wife of APC youth leader in the town, Mrs. Temilade Rasheed, said she came outside of her house where she was working to call her daughter to come prepare the evening meal when one of the thugs identified her as the wife of the APC youth leader.
“They immediately descended on me and tore my cloth,” she said, displaying the torn cloth.
Her husband, Okeowo Rasheed, said he was somewhere else in the town when he learnt that his was being physically assaulted.
“I was in Prince Ade Ojo’s house when I was told that my wife was being beaten by Labour Party thugs. When I got to the scene, I saw thugs armed with axes, cutlasses and displaying charms. They were so violent that I could not go near them. I recognized one Oni Omolayo among the thugs.”
Rasheed said he and the other victims of the unprovoked attack reported the matter to the police at the Aramoko Divisional Police Station same day and that the police promised to visit the town the following morning.
However, the Police were yet to visit as at 10am on Wednesday, 23rd April, 2014.
Another victim of the attack, Toyin Afolayan, said she was in her brother’s shop when the LP thugs were destroying the billboards of the APC candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and that her caution to them only won her several slaps.
Afolayan said they also hit her with a log of wood, warning that they would have killed her if she were a man.
She said it took the intervention of some bystanders to rescue her from the rampaging thugs.
The beating also extended to the Olupole’s palace where, according to eyewitnesses, Tunde Lau-lau almost beat the wife of the traditional ruler who cautioned him and his co-thugs against beating a palace worker, Dayo Tijani, to death within the premises of the palace.
A witness of what transpired in the palace, Hon. Samuel Abegunde, shed more light on the incident:
“While Opeyemi Bamidele was with the kabiyesi, 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. All this happened in the presence of the policemen who came with MOB. They also were shooting into the air as though it was a war.
Go and look at kabiyesi’s cassava farm behind the palace building; the police shot into the farm. From the action of those policemen, it didn’t seem the Police’s job is to protect the people. It rather looked as though they were more concerned about harassing our people.
“A PDP member, Ajetumobi Ojo, known as ‘oro’ was with them. In fact, he said he wanted to make sure someone was killed in the palace. We later heard that there is an alliance between the Labour Party and the PDP – that whenever LP is campaigning anywhere, PDP members in the town should team up with them to make it look as though they are many, and vice versa.”
In an interview with journalists, the traditional ruler of Ipole-Iloro, Olupole of Ipole-Iloro, Oba Oladele Asaro, said he was shocked at the sheer display of unruly behaviour and violence displayed within the premises of his palace.
He said he took it up with the LP gubernatorial candidate, Opeyemi Bamidele, who promised to be responsible for the fixing of the destroyed billboards of the APC and the demolition of a section of the fence shielding the BEDC transformer in front of the townhall.
The monarch also expressed surprise that his palace worker, Dayo Tijani, taken away by the Police to the Aramoko Divisional Station on the excuse of wanting to save him from further attacks, had allegedly been transferred to the Police headquarters in the state capital, Ado-Ekiti.
“I am surprised that none of those who carried out the attack here was arrested by the police. Yet, the Police refused to release my worker,” the monarch said.