Fresh controversies are now ensuing as a result of the reported violent attacks allegedly carried out by some suspected political thugs against members and supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who participated in the Tuesday Solidarity Walk which took place in parts of Ibadan in support of the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the state chapter of the APC faulted the State Police Commissioner who claimed armed robbers were responsible for the incident.
Media reports had it that some people who took part in the political campaign exercise were waylaid and attacked at Labiran junction in Ibadan at about 1.30pm on Tuesday as eyewitness accounts revealed that the attackers were identified as some members of the Park Management System PMS who were led by Mukaila Lamidi (a.k.a Auxiliary) who is also an aide of Governor Seyi Makinde.
In a statement issued on Thursday and made available to journalists in Ibadan by its Publicity Secretary, Olawale Sadare, Oyo APC said that it never meant to heap the whole blame on the security agencies who tried their best during peaceful procession but “we are concerned about the rights of the victims of the needless attacks as well as the need to curtail the excesses of the disgruntled elements who are poised to sponsor violence and brigandage in the state ahead of the general election.
“While we express our sincere appreciation to the state Police Command as well as other security agencies for the role they played in providing security assistance during our peaceful Solidarity Walk in Ibadan, we are constrained to voice out our disapproval of the claims by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adebowale Williams, that two armed robbers who adorned APC t-shirts were responsible for an isolated case of attack on a participant in the campaign exercise.
“It is more worrisome that the claims from the CP came hours after one Jelili Emiola who was said to be the spokesman for the chief culprit, Mukaila Auxiliary, had told the whole world that the bloody attacks were carried out by a supposed group of erstwhile APC members who had defected to Accord Party even though he (Emiola) made a futile attempt to diverse attention from his principal who was clearly seen and identified by many people as the leader of the attackers.
“For the record, Mr. Emeka Okoro was badly injured as he was shot at by the attackers. Okoro belonged to a Pro-APC Support Group known as Oyo State Non-Indigene Residents for Tinubu/Folarin. The young man is now recuperating at a private clinic in Ibadan. Another victim is an APC faithful from Ogbomoso North, Mr. Tayo Oyelola (a.k.a Ekiti) who sustained several matchet wounds. Others with varying degrees of injury are Mukaila Lawal, Usman Adebayo, Emmanuel Akinbode and Ridwan Gberu.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we have many incontrovertible evidence such as photographs, video clips and eyewitnesses in support of claims that members and supporters of our party were attacked and injured on Tuesday by the notorious Mukaila Auxiliary and his team of miscreants who work for Oyo PDP. Even as we write, PDP thugs are going round some areas within Ibadan- the state capital in pursuit of our party members who they have become endangered species on account of dangerous politics which is their way of life. These happen as relevant security agencies are yet to address the reported cases of destruction of billboards, posters and vehicles belonging to candidates of political parties other than PDP.
“As parties and their candidates intensify efforts on their campaigns, it is imperative for all security agencies to keep their watch on these agents of violence and their sponsors who do everything possible to cover their track after carrying out their nefarious activity anywhere in the state. We also use this medium to call on the Police Commissioner, Director of DSS and other heads of security facilities in the state to order thorough investigation into the unwarranted attacks carried out against our members last Tuesday with a view to bringing the culprits to book.” Sadare concluded.