Ondo APC, ZLP in Verbal War over Attack on Campaign Office

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By James Sowole

The Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) yesterday alleged that the campaign secretariat of its governorship candidate in the October 10 Ondo State governorship election, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, was attacked by suspected political thugs loyal to the All Progressives Congress (APC) last Tuesday night.

The Director-General of the Agbo/Gboyei Campaign Organisation, Dr. Kola Adujimi, stated this in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the candidate, Mr. Babatope Okeowo.

Ademujimi said the security personnel attached to the secretariat, Mr. Gbenga Olayoriju, said the thugs, who were five in number, came in an APC branded vehicle, attacked the secretariat, destroying the billboard and other valuables in the premises.

He said the thugs, who shot sporadically as they arrived at the premises, threatened to shoot him.

Responding swiftly, the Spokesperson of Akeredolu/Ayedatiwa Campaign Organisation, Mr. Olatunde Olabode, said the ZLP is merely looking for attention.

Olabode, who denied the allegations made by the ZLP, said thuggery was not part of the strategy of the APC.

“As you can see, there is nobody that is talking about them in the state. Their political popularity has refused to grow. It’s a rejected party with no political structure.

“In fact, we have it on good authority that they orchestrate attack on themselves just to drag us into issues with them. We are not ready to join issues with a party that has been rejected by the people of Ondo State.“We must make it clear that we are sure of victory. We carry the crown and we are guiding it jealously. We will not engage in any act of violence. We have the people, and the people are our strength,” he stated.

Ademujimi alleged that the thugs used the butts of their guns to destroy the billboard in front of the campaign office and threatened to kill him and his colleague if they make any attempt to stop them from carrying out their actions.

He said attacks on the campaign offices of the candidate have become worrisome in recent time.

Aside the attack at the campaign secretariat in Akure, Ademujimi alleged that political thugs loyal to APC and Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu attacked ZLP members in Idanre during the campaign of the governor last Tuesday.

Ademujimi alleged: “Akeredolu’s thugs are threatening the lives and property of members of ZLP and those of other parties in various parts of the state.

“They destroyed chairs, tables and inflicted injuries on our supporters at their ward meeting in Ile-Oluji yesterday.

“They also destroyed Ajayi’s bill boards at our campaign office in Akure. They destroyed our flags and posters in Idanre during Akeredolu/APC’s campaign tour in Idanre yesterday.

“They attacked leaders of another party during their local government meeting in Owo yesterday. I think they are out to cause mayhem even before the October governorship election in Ondo State.”

Ademujimi, therefore, called on security agencies to live up to their expectations before the opposition parties are forced to act in self defence.