James Sowole in Akure
Ondo State Government on Monday said that no fewer than 20 indigenes of the state who were supporters of the state owned Sunshine Stars Football Club were attacked by irate football fans loyal to Osun State owned Osun United Football Club.
The attack, which took place at Ijebu Ode Stadium, in Ogun State came shortly after the second leg of the ongoing Aiteo Cup between the two teams.
The first leg of the match between the two teams at Osogbo Township Stadium ended 1-0 in favour of Osun United while the Sunshine Stars won the second leg 3-1 with the aggregate 3-2 and which pushed the Sunshine Stars to semi- final.
Two of the injured supporters of Sunshine Stars suffered head injuries and were at the press conference to address the matter on Monday.
The Ondo State Commissioner for Sports and Youths Development, Mr Saka Yusuf Ogunleye who addressed a press conference alongside his Information and Orientation counterpart, Mr Yemi Olowolabi, alleged that the supporters of Sunshine Stars were
injured by suspected thugs from Osun State.
He said about 40 vehicles with the inscription of Osun logo were mobilised to the stadium, adding that many of those who attacked Ondo people were suspected loyalists of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State, going by the clothes many of them wore.
He said trouble started after the match ended 3-1 in favour of Sunshine Star FC, stressing that the Ondo team was caught unawares, thereby making many of them to sustain various degrees of injuries.
Ogunleye who said he was physically present at the stadium during the attack, alleged that Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola called an oba when those who perpetrated the attack were arrested by the Police.
Two of the victims of the attack, Messrs Ayodele Folorunsho and Felix Olowa who sustained injuries on their heads, recounted that various weapons including cutlasses and stones were used on them.
The duo who stated that they were brutally injured, said they lost many of their personal belongings including mobile phones, shoes and clothes to the attack.
Speaking, the commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Olowolabi said the attack on Ondo people was unfortunate and called on the Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola to call his people to order.
Also, he called on well-meaning traditional rulers and eminent personalities in Yoruba land to call Aregbesola to order to avoid dispute between the two neighbouring states.
He informed that many of the victims of the attack are already receiving medical treatment in various hospitals across the state.
Although Olowolabi did not link the attack to the recent attack on the Osun State Commissioner for Regional Integration, Mr Bola Ilori, he decried the situation and stressed the need for peace to reign between the two states.
Ilori, an indigene of Ondo State, but a serving commissioner in Osun State was last Thursday attacked at the International Events Centre, Akure, during the public hearing on
restructuring and true federalism organised by the APC.