Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Two members of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State have been confirmed dead resulting from the clash that ensued between suspected thugs of the party and the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in Oyun Local Government Council Area of the state.
The incident, according to THISDAY checks, happened at Ojoku when the campaign trail of Kwara South senatorial candidate of APC, Mr. Lola Ashiru, took his campaign rally to the town last Tuesday.
The state Police Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ajayi Okasanmi, who confirmed the incident, said six persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.
However, the state Chairman of the party, Hon. Bashr Bolarinwa, who also spoke with journalists in Ilorin yesterday on the incident, urged the security agencies to arrest the perpetrators of the attack without further delay.
According to him, “As at the time of intimating you on the unprovoked attack against our members and supporters by the thugs of the PDP, two members of our party have been confirmed dead.
“Apart from this, another eight persons are now fighting for their lives for the injuries sustained during the attack.”
Bolarinwa added that “our APC senatorial candidate for Kwara South, Lola Ashiru, took his electioneering to Ojoku Ward in Oyun Local Government Area of the state. In line with tradition, he and his team paid a courtesy visit to the Olojoku of Ojoku in his palace.
“After the courtesy visit to the Kabiyesi, the team came out of the palace to proceed to the venue of the rally. They had barely come out of the palace when they were ambushed by PDP thugs who apparently have been lurking around the palace.
“The attackers, who were armed with different weapons, started shooting at the APC members and supporters who accompanied our candidate to the palace.
“The policemen who accompanied our candidate’s campaign train tried to repel the attackers, but they were massively overwhelmed. Our candidate, Ashiru, was quickly taken away from the palace, and he remained in hiding for over two hours before police reinforcement came to rescue him.
“From all indications, this is a pre-meditated attack, and it is clear that the attackers came not just to disrupt the campaign but to assassinate our candidate.”
Meanwhile, the PDP in the state has condemned the attack on its members and supporters in Ojoku.
In a statement by its state Chairman of the party, Hon. Kola Shittu, yesterday, the PDP condemned the violent attack on its members, and asked security agencies to immediately arrest and prosecute the perpetrators and their sponsors.
Shittu described the attack as unfortunate, ill-conceived and barbaric, stressing that the attack has yet again revealed the violent disposition of the APC.
“This latest brazen attack on our members and supporters in Ojoku has yet again further showcased the violent disposition of the APC, which we have always alerted Kwarans and security agencies about. It is also a clear indication that the APC is synonymous with violence and is ready to do anything to achieve its rabid and desperate desire to hijack power.
“We understand that this attack is part of the plot by the APC to throw the state into chaos and bloodletting so that INEC might shift election and later conduct a staggered election in the state.
“It is unfortunate that while the PDP is preparing for the elections, the APC is busy orchestrating plots to unleash violence on our candidates and members in order to achieve its aim of having a staggered election in the state,” he said.