James Sowole in Akure
Suspected thugs late last Tuesday attacked the Atiku Campaign Organisation office located at Ijapo area of Akure, the Ondo State capital, tying up and beating security guards attached to the office to a pulp.
The hoodlums also destroyed campaign billboards and posters of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Atiku.
The Atiku Campaign Organisation alleged that the attack was sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The spokesman of the organisation, Mr. Kayode Fasua, in a statement called on security agents to investigate the perpetrators of the act and bring them to justice.
In a swift reaction, the state Chairman of the APC, Mr. Ade Adetimehin, denied the involvement of the ruling party in the incident.
According to Adetimehin, “We are not aware of the incident. If it truly occurred, our members cannot be involved because we are peace-loving, law-abiding political party, and we don’t involve in thuggery or violence.
“I will implore the security agents to investigate the matter and fish out the perpetrators.”
The Atiku Campaign Organisation also alleged that the hoodlums had been attacking and assaulting supporters of Atiku in the state.
“They arrived in the wee hours of the day, at a time the security guards in the Ijapo, Akure area of our office would have closed from duty and descended on our campaign office.
“Numbering about 10 and fully armed, they descended on our private security guard, beat him to a pulp and then tied him with ropes. After that, they proceeded by dismantling the Atiku billboards, and tore all his posters.
“Not done, these agents of the devil went ahead to break window panes and kept shouting ‘where are those documents, where are those documents!’ But having failed in their evil deed, they retreated, shooting sporadically,” he said.
The Director General of the Atiku Campaign Organisation in Ondo State, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), in his reaction, described the attack as “barbaric and alien to the spirit of democracy that the Nigerian society should embrace in a fast-advancing world.”
He also demanded that the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
Though the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Femi Joseph, said the command was unaware of the incident, he stated that “there was no report of such incident,” but Fasua said the matter was reported to the police.