By Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Two All Progressives Congress members were reportedly injured Thursday during an alleged attack on the convoy of Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, in Ilorin, Kwara State capital
Professor Osinbajo was in Ilorin on Thursday in continuation of his door-to-door consultations with residents of the state ahead of Saturday’s polls.
Though, the details of the incident were yet to be ascertained officially Thursday night, security sources confirmed it occurred around Isale Aluko area of the metropolis where Osinbajo had gone on his door -to- door campaign in the state capital.
A police source who sought anonymity told journalists in Ilorin last night that the incident actually occurred after the Vice President’s convoy had left the vicinity.
Meanwhile, the two major political parties in the state, All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) blamed each other for the attack which came barely 24 hours after a clash between the two parties at Ojoku, Oyun local government area of the state, left two people dead and several others injured.
While the APC claimed the attack on Osinbajo was masterminded by PDP elements, the latter alleged that the attack stemmed from disagreement on how to share money allegedly given to political thugs working for the APC.
A statement issued last night by Rafiu Ajakaiye media aide to Abdulrazaq Abdulrahaman, the APC governorship candidate in the state, claimed that
“the vice president was at Isale Aluko suburb of Ilorin on a door-to-door campaign when some dare-devil gunmen opened fire at his convoy which included thousands of APC members and supporters.”
The statement called for immediate arrest and prosecution of those behind the incident as well as an investigations to reveal those who gave the orders for the attacks. It said two members of the APC sustained “life-threatening injuries”, while many others got seriously injured running for their lives.
“We call for all measures to be taken to ensure safety of lives and properties and sanctity of the ballot box in Kwara and beyond”, he said
But in its own statement, the PDP denied involvement in the attack saying Osinbajo had even visited the Agbajit family home of Senate President Bukola Saraki without any untoward incident.
The party’s position, contained in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Tunde Ashaolu, reads: “Osinbajo was in Ilorin for the door-to-door campaign rally of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other activities of the party, when his convoy was attacked.
“The incident was an intra party affair involving members of the APC, arising from the endless crisis confronting the party.”
He added that crisis, however, broke out when Osinbajo got to Alanamu ward of Isale-Aluko, which is the base of two former governorship aspirants of the APC, Lukman Mustapha and Moshood Mustapha, who have been engulfed in superiority war.
The statement noted that, “It was also gathered that the money released to be shared among party supporters triggered the violence. Our party has no time for violence as we have been busy preparing for the presidential and national assembly elections coming up on Saturday as well as the governorship and State Assembly elections.”
The party therefore urged security agencies to thoroughly investigate this matter and not to indiscriminately arrest innocent people who had no connection with this unfortunate incident.
When contacted, spokesman for the state police command, Ajayi Okasanmi, said he was yet to be briefed about the development adding that he would make an official statement once he confirms the incident.
The spokesman of the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, could not be reached for his response.