James Sowole in Akure
The public hearing organised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) on federalism and restructuring in Akure, Ondo State capital thursday ended abruptly when the Osun State Commissioner for Regional Integration, Mr. Bola Ilori was attacked by some people suspected to be loyalists of the party.
Ilori was said to be in Akure to represent the Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, at the event which drew delegates from three states of Ekiti, Osun and Ondo.
It was clear that trouble was looming on the attendance of Ilori as he was booed by participants while he was speaking at the event that took place at the International Events Centre (Dome).
Though Ilori clothes were thorn, he escaped being lynched by suspected political thugs.
The commissioner, who is an indigene of Ondo State, had spoken at the public hearing shortly after the leader of the delegation from Osun State; Chief Gbadegesin Adedeji presented the memorandum of the state before the committee led by Mrs. Rachael Akpabio.
Ilori, though an indigene of Ondo State had served as the Special Adviser to Governor Aregbesola of Osun State on Environment and Sanitation, and currently serving as the Commissioner for Regional Integration in the state.
Ilori worked openly against Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu during the last election in the state as he supported the Alliance for Democracy (AD) candidate, Chief Olusola Oke.
Security personnel at the event could not help the situation, as they kept watching the scenario, until some top politicians prevailed on the situation.
Ironically, top members of the APC from Ekiti, Osun and Ondo States including the national vice chairman of the party, in the South-west, Chief Pius Akinyelure, Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, Ondo State Chairman of the party, Mr Ade Adetimehin and his Ekiti State counterpart, Chief Jide Awe, among others, attended the event.
Speaking on the matter, the Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Yemi Olowolabi, said Ilori and his supporters came to the venue of the public hearing with weapons and charms.
Olowolabi said the intention of Ilori was to cause crisis at the venue of the programme, having mobilised people from Osun State to the programme with customised fabric bearing Oranmiyan inscription. He said no other state came to the venue with such material.
â€œIt was an APC event, but some people wore Oranmiyan clothes to the event and also carried Oranmiyan flags with sticks in their hands. They came with weapons and charms. It was clear that they came to foment trouble at the event.â€
â€œIlori was not the one that presented the Osun position on the restructuring. Bola Ilori seized microphone from the organisers
of the event after the leader of Osun team had spoken.â€
Describing the incident as a regrettable one, Olowolabi who advised Ilori to shun violence and thuggery, noted that Ondo State is a state of peace, adding that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu believes in peace and also promotes peace.
The commissioner commended leadership of the APC in the state starting from the deputy governor, the Secretary to the State Governor, the party chairman and other leaders for wading into the matter.
He commended the law enforcement agents for their efforts in ensuring that the matter did not degenerate.