Violence erupted earlier today in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, as rival supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Allied People’s Movement (APM) clashed, leaving no fewer than 10 people injured and several vehicles vandalized.
Guns, machetes, stones and other dangerous weapons were freely used by suspected political thugs during the incident.
A Day Info gathered that the clash was fierce at Elega junction, Mokola, Ago Ika and Sokori areas of Abeokuta.
Supporters of the APC governorship candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun, and the APM standard bearer, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade, traded blames over the incident.
Eyewitnesses, however, told our correspondent that the clashes occurred when the APC campaign train ran into the entourage of a House of Representatives member and candidate for Abeokuta North/Obafemi-Owode/Odeda Federal Constituency, Hon. Mikky Kazzim.
Supporters of the two parties were initially said to have engaged in verbal war but it later degenerated into physical assault.
In the ensuing melee, some hoodlums allegedly shot sporadically, leaving many party stalwarts to run for dear lives.
While some party members sustained injuries in the process and were subsequently rushed to hospitals for medical attention, several vehicles and property were also damaged and vandalized.
As at the time of filing this report yesterday, a combined team of operatives of Quick Response Squad (QRS), Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) have been deployed to the scenes of the attack.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, could not be immediately reached for comments on the incident.
But a former Minister of Mines and Steel Development and Director-General of APM Campaign Council, Alhaji Sarafa Isola, confirmed the incident, saying his party supporters who were having a meeting at Ward 5 in Mokola area were attacked.
Isola urged the people to remain calm and resist temptation to be violent ahead of the general elections.
But reacting, the Publicity Secretary of Ogun APC Caretaker Committee, Tunde Oladunjoye, said the party’s governorship candidate, Dapo Abiodun, actually survived an assassination attempt.
Oladunjoye alleged that the attack was orchestrated by a serving House of Representatives member being supported by Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
In a statement made available to reporters in Abeokuta, the party spokesman called on President Muhammadu Buhari to wade into the situation by calling the governor to order.
He said, “Earlier this morning, we gathered intelligence report that, due to the growing popularity of Prince Dapo Abiodun in Ogun State, especially the way he was received by an unprecedented crowd of people yesterday during his ward-to-ward tour of Abeokuta North Local Government, a meeting was hurriedly called last night, during which it was decided that the APC governorship candidate should be assassinated via stray bullet.
“The Party not only called for investigation, but actually demanded that the Inspector General of Police should set up an independent panel to investigate and report to him directly, the recent escalating political violence in our once peaceful state.
“We want to assure the general public that we shall remain resolute in our non-violent campaign, while urging the masses of Ogun State not to be scared or intimidated. The 2019 elections in Ogun State would be determined by votes and not bullets.”
votes and not bullets.”