The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), on Saturday, traded blames in Ekiti after a shootout at Itaji Ekiti.
The clash left at least one person dead and several others injured.
Both parties claimed they were at the receiving end of the attack.
The SDP said that thugs from the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), wearing APC vests and armed with automatic rifles, shot sporadically at their campaign venues in Itaji-Ekiti in Oye Local Government Area of the state, while Segun Oni was addressing the rally.
Mr Oni, a former governor of the state, is the candidate of the SDP.
Jackson Adebayo, the spokesperson of the Segun Oni campaign, organisation said three persons were shot during the attack and one of the attackers was arrested and handed over to the police.
But Taiwo Olatunbosun, the director of Media and Publicity of the Biodun Oyebanji Campaign Organisation, said the APC supporters were attacked by the SDP thugs, killing one Tope Ajayi and injuring several others.
According to Mr Olatunbosun, an unspecified number of other APC members are presently hospitalized where medical personnel are battling to save their lives following life-threatening injuries they received in the attack carried out SDP thugs.
He said one of the victims, Joshua John, who is presently at a critical condition at the State University Teaching Hospital, said he was tortured and shot in the leg in the presence of Mr Oni and Mr Daramola, a former lawmaker.
Mr Olatunbosun said the APC’s campaign procession in Ekiti North senatorial district was peaceful earlier in the day until it was disrupted by SDP thugs under the command of Mr Daramola at Itaji-Ekiti. He said the attack was carried out in broad daylight.
He noted that the attack on Mr Ajayi was carried out by violent thugs who arrived in one Toyota Hilux and Tacoma vehicles.
He alleged that the SDP thugs shot at many vehicles in its campaign procession including the one belonging to the Special Adviser on Roads, Sunday Adunmo.
READ ALSO: SDP Knocks Buhari Over Comment On Ekiti Poll
“It is very disturbing that Daramola was seen by eyewitnesses personally leading thugs parading as security officials, and instructed them to shoot directly at our members in Itaji-Ekiti,” said Mr Olatunbosun.
“He and others culpable of the breach of peace are to be held accountable.
“The death in Itaji-Ekiti is an addition to the statistics of politically-motivated fatalities allegedly traced to Oni in his desperation for power.
“It is tragic that within one week of Daramola decamping to the SDP, we have recorded a spate of violence including an attack on our campaign rally at Oke Ayedun on Friday, and now the brutal killing of our member today, and the maiming of many others who are now battling for their lives in the hospital.
“I assure all our peace-loving members and the good people of Ekiti State that despite the scheming of Bimbo Daramola and his newfound desperate cohorts in the SDP, the June 18 governorship election would be peaceful and the APC would be victorious.”
He said the Oyebanji Campaign wants the police to invite Mr Daramola and other SDP leaders to state all they know about the attack for justice to be done to the deceased and the injured and prevent a reoccurrence in days ahead.
He also said the Oyebanji Campaign was in possession of intelligence that hundreds of thugs and youths had been armed with guns and other dangerous weapons across the state to cause mayhem at the instance of Mr Oni, whom he accused of being desperate for power.
In its statement, the SDP said the APC thugs were allegedly sent by Rotimi Olanbiwoninu, a-k-a Mentilo, the Ekiti State Chairman of RTEAN, to disrupt the SDP Itaji campaign by shooting at its supporters.
Mr Adebayo noted that it took the mobile police and some soldiers on patrol about 30 minutes to bring the situation under control.
“The unlucky thug confessed that they were sent by Mentilo and that he (Mentilo) was working for the Biodun Oyebamiji Campaign Organisation,” said Mr Adebayo.
At Oye, said Mr Adebayo, “the RTEAN drivers allegedly shot three members of the SDP who were waiting for the arrival of Oni who was due to address party supporters in the town.”
He, however, said in spite of the violence at Itaji and Oye, the people trooped out enmass to welcome Mr Oni, promising to vote for him. He said the APC thugs could not intimidate or prevent them from coming out to vote on the election day.
He said the injured SDP members were taken to the hospital while the matter was reported to the Commissioner of Police.
Sunday Abutu, the spokesperson of the police in Ekiti State, told PREMIUM TIMES that the situation had been brought under control and that investigations were ongoing to determine the facts of the incident.
JUST IN: Court Strikes Out Suit Seeking To Void Ademola Adeleke’s Nomination For Osun Guber Election
Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has struck out a suit seeking nullification of submission of the name of Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last July 26 election.
The judge on Thursday struck down the suit on the ground that the plaintiff lacked locus standi to institute the case.
The plaintiff in the suit, Awoyemi Oluwatayo Lukman, had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the PDP and Adeleke before the court seeking order to void and set aside the submission of Adeleke’s name to INEC on grounds of alleged unlawful action.
The grouse of the plaintiff was that Adeleke’s name was hurriedly submitted by PDP on March 11 as against between March 14 to 18 as contained in the INEC guidelines.
Adeleke’s name having not been submitted within the period fixed by INEC, the plaintiff asked the court to declare the submission, illegal, unlawful, null, and void and be set aside.
He claimed that INEC must be bound by its official guidelines and that anything done outside the guidelines is against the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
However, in his judgment, Justice Obiora Egwuatu struck out the suit on the ground that the said Awoyemi Oluwatayo Lukman lacked locus standi to have instituted the case.
The Judge held also that the suit was statute barred having been fixed outside the 14 days stipulated by Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution that all pre-election suits must be filed within 14 days whereas, the instant suit was filed after 28 days.
FLASHBACK: How Tinubu Named Obasanjo ‘Greatest Election Rigger’ In Nigeria
The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential flagbearer for the 2023 general elections, Bola Tinubu, had on February 9, 2019, called the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo “the greatest election rigger” in the country.
The former Lagos State governor made the claim while accusing Obasanjo of rigging the 2007 presidential election which brought Late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua into power as Nigerian president.
Asiwaju, who made the assertion during a presidential rally of the ruling party at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos State, alleged that Yar’Adua admitted being rigged into office before he died.
He said: “When he was asked, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua admitted that the election which brought him into office was rigged.
“Who conducted that election? Obasanjo. Obasanjo is the greatest election rigger in this country.”
Meanwhile, the APC national leader on Wednesday visited the ex-president over his 2023 presidential ambition.
Tinubu, who is seeking the support of Obasanjo to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari come 2023, met the former president behind closed-doors at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State.
In a tweet after the meeting, Tinubu expressed gratitude to Obasanjo and the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun for the fantastic welcome accorded him during the visit.
He wrote: “My gratitude to former President Obasanjo, Governor Dapo Abiodun and the great people of Ogun State for the fantastic welcome. Thank you.”
Tinubu Mocked For Visiting Obasanjo After Criticising Ex-President
The All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu has been mocked for visiting former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Tinubu met with Obasanjo at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Wednesday.
The meeting between the Southwest political leaders was believed to be a consultation.
Reacting, Deji Adeyanju, an Abuja-based rights activist, said Tinubu’s visit to Obasanjo indicated that politics is something else.
Adeyanju recalled how the APC presidential candidate once called Obasanjo an election rigger.
He recalled how Tinubu asked Nigerians not to take Obasanjo seriously for criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
In a tweet, Adeyanju urged Nigerians against fighting themselves over politicians.
According to Adeyanju: “Tinubu who called Obasanjo an election rigger who should not be taken seriously when he criticized Buhari in 2019 today has spent hours with Obj consulting. Politics is something else.
“Don’t fight each other over politicians. They are not worth it. I know them very well.
“They are all extremely close friends and business associates. Go and hustle so you can tell them to their faces to Getat! There’s nothing they hate more than that.”
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