By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
No fewer than 20 persons sustained various degrees of injuries in Omuo Ekiti, headquarters of Ekiti East Local Government area of Ekiti State, as supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) clashed during a campaign rally.
Members of the APC were said to be holding a joint rally for a former minister and senatorial candidate in Ekiti South District, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, and the House of Representatives candidate in Ekiti South Federal Constituency II, Hon Femi Bamisile, Monday evening when the suspected PDP thugs invaded the rally and attacked them.
Those fingered by APC to have allegedly carried out the attacks were loyalists of the Senate Minority Leader, and senatorial candidate of the PDP in Ekiti South, Senator Biodun Olujimi.
Some APC supporters, Adeniyi Saliu, Kayode Ojo and Adeniyi Ayo, who sustained deep cuts in their heads, back and stomach, had been referred to the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti for intensive medicare.
Another 15 others were said to have been wounded during the unexpected attack.
It was gathered that those who committed the crime had fled the town and are now being trailed by the police for possible arrest and prosecution.
A former Speaker of the state House of Assembly and House of Representatives candidate Bamisile described the attack as unfortunate, barbaric and uncalled for.
He said the desperation of some of the PDP members are becoming a threat to democracy and called on the security agencies in the state to apprehend the perpetrators of the latest ugly development in the area without further delay.
“APC as a party will not fold its arms and watch its members to be attacked by members of other political parties, hence the need for a strong warning to troublemakers to retrace their steps and allow peace to reign in the land.
“Nobody has a monopoly of violence, therefore PDP members should be aware of that, and stop provoking peace loving APC members in the state,” Bamisile said.
The APC senatorial candidate and former Minister of Works, Prince Adeyeye, warned miscreants and political thugs planning violence and mayhem in the build up to Saturday’s general election to be careful or risk being sent to prison.
Adeyeye while reacting to the sudden wave of political violence and attacks on APC members in Omuo Ekiti allegedly sponsored by Senator Olujimi and PDP said the long arms of law will catch up with thugs that were led by one Sunday Awolusi no matter how fast they run.
Prince Adeyeye said: “Arresting and prosecuting the suspects will serve as a deterrent to others inclined to political violence. I enjoin the security agencies to be on the red alert to curtail political violence.
“Ekiti is a peaceful state and nobody should turn it into theatre of war in the name of politics.”
But the Special Assistant, Media to Senator Olujimi on Public Communications, Chief Sanya Atofarati, exonerated his principal and her supporters from the attack, saying the senator had no cause to attack anybody.
“Attacking political opponents is of no point. It is the APC that has been attacking others because violence is their principal identity.
“We have been going round campaigning in the senatorial district. No cases of violence. No reason for us to fight anybody. People of the senatorial district know this.
“We are going to the polls, we are sure of winning, so why would we embark on attacking others. We are peace loving. They should settle their differences,” he said.