Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
No fewer than 20 persons allegedly sustained various levels of injuries in Omuo Ekiti, headquarters of Ekiti East Local government area of Ekiti State, as supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had clashed during a campaign rally.
While members of the APC claimed they were holding a joint rally for the senatorial candidate in Ekiti South District, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, and the House of Representatives candidate in Ekiti South Federal Constituency, Femi Bamisile, on Monday evening, when the suspected PDP thugs allegedly loyal to Senator Biodun Olujimi, PDP senatorial candidate in the disteict, invaded the rally and launched attacks on them, spokesman to Senator Olujimi, Sanya Atofarati, denied the claims saying the PDP had no intention to attack any member of the APC.
Meanwhile, some APC supporters, Adeniyi Saliu, Kayode Ojo and Adeniyi Ayo, who claimed to have sustained deep cut to the heads, back and stomach, are said to have been hospitalized into intensive care at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti.
Another 15 others were reportedly wounded during the attack.
It was gathered that those who committed the assault have fled the town and are now being trailed by the police for arrest and prosecution.
Former Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly and an APC House of Representative candidate, Bamisile, described the attack as unfortunate, barbaric and uncalled for.
Bamisile said the desperation of some of the PDP members are becoming a threat to the democracy and called on the security agencies in the state to apprehend the perpetrators of the latest development in the area without further delay.
“APC as a party will not fold its arms and watch its members be attacked by members of other political parties, hence the need for a strong warning to troublemakers to retrace their steps and allow peace to reign in the land.
“Nobody has monopoly of violence, therefore PDP members should be aware of that and stop provoking peace loving APC members in the state”.
APC senatorial candidate and former Minister of Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, warned miscreants and political thugs planning violence and mayhem in the build up to Saturday’s general elections to be careful or risk being sent to prison.
Adeyeye, reacting to the sudden wave of political violence and attacks on APC members in Omuo Ekiti, allegedly sponsored by Senator Olujimi and the PDP, said the long arms of the law will catch up with thugs that were led by one Sunday Awolusi no matter how fast they run.
Prince Adeyeye said: “Arresting and prosecuting the suspects will serve as a deterrent to others inclined to political violence. I enjoin the security agencies to be on red alert to curtail political violence.
“Ekiti is a peaceful state and nobody should turn it into a theatre of war in the name of politics”.
Atofarati, who exonerated Olujimi and her supporters from the attack, said the senator had no cause to attack anybody.
“Attacking political opponents is of no point. It is the APC that has been attacking others because violence is their principal identity,” Atofarati said.
“We have been going round campaigning in the senatorial district. No cases of violence. No reason for us to fight anybody. People of the senatorial district know this.
“We are going to the polls, we are sure of winning, so why would we embark on attacking others? We are peace-loving. They should settle their differences.”