FOR several hours, supporters of Rotimi Akeredolu, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ondo State, and Olusegun Abraham, another aspirant in the APC primaries that gave Akeredolu the party ticket, engaged in a bloody clash, on Tuesday, October 4.
Trouble started when supporters of Abraham, who held a rally round the Akure metropolis to ask that the “stolen” mandate given to Akeredolu by the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, members be restored were attacked at the party secretariat in Akure. Placards displayed by the protesters had such inscriptions as “With Abraham we stand” “Restore Abraham’s mandate” “Abraham is APC’s candidate” and “Abraham is the authentic winner of September 3 primary”. Dangerous weapons, including guns were freely used as the supporters of Akeredolu and Abraham, engaged in a free for all, forcing people to flee as the hoodlums attacked perceived opponents and those at the party secretariat.
Later policemen with Armoured Personnel Carriers were deployed to the party secretariat to restore peace. Even then, an unspecified number of party supporters and passers-by reportedly sustained injuries during the bloody clash.
Addressing newsmen, Rotimi Agbede, spokesman of the protesters, said: “We are protesting against the name submitted by the national leadership of our party. If as a party, we are preaching anti-corruption and a sane society, we cannot be seen to be doing otherwise. We don’t want some people to drag our party to self-destruction. We are of the belief that the national leadership will see reasons with what we are saying. Abraham reacts Reacting to the attack on his supporters, Abraham alleged that the attack was sponsored by Akeredolu.
He said: “It was a peaceful rally asking for our mandate to be restored and not to be delayed. All of a sudden, the Aketi people came and attacked the people. Is this the kind of thugs we want to put in power? Is it thuggery they use for governance? Thuggery is a different form of governance.”
On his part, an aide to Akeredolu, however denied that his principal sponsored the attack, describing the APC candidate as a peaceful man who would not encourage violence in any form.
— Oct 5, 2016 @ 14:50 GMT