By: Temitope Adedeji, Akure
Osun State Commissioner for Regional Integration, Hon. Bola Ilori was on Thursday attacked by hoodlums suspected to be loyalists of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State.
Ilori who was in Akure to represent the Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola at a public hearing on true federalism organized for Ekiti, Osun and Ondo States by the APC committee on true federalism was booed at the International Events Centre (Dome), Akure venue of the public hearing, before he later escaped being lynched by suspected political thugs.
The Commissioner had spoken at the public hearing shortly after the leader of the delegation from Osun State; Chief Gbadegesin Adedeji presented the memorandum of the state before the committee led by Mrs
Ilori, though an indigene of Ondo State had served as the Special Adviser to Governor Aregbesola of Osun State on environment and Sanitation, and currently serving as the commissioner for Regional
Integration in the state.
Also, Ilori, a close ally of the former Lagos State Governor and national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was believed to have worked against Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu during the governorship election that produced him (Akeredolu), as he supported the governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Chief Olusola Oke, who was alleged to be the preferred candidate of bothTinubu and Aregbesola Ilori had defected to the AD ahead of the last governorship election in Ondo State and served as the Director General of Olusola Oke campaign organization.
The delegates from Ondo State at the public hearing booed Ilori while making his presentation and eventually attacked him at the main entrance of the hall while on his way out of the hall where the public hearing was held.
The political thugs who attacked the commissioner tore his while short sleeve shirt which he wore to the occasion and his underwear cloth, while attempts to tear his trouser was resisted by his supporters who
chased the attackers away.
Security personnel at the event saved the situation, along side other politicians.
The attack on the commissioner brought an abrupt end to the programme, which was attended by top members of the APC from Ekiti, Osun and Ondo States including the national vice chairman of the party, in the South West, Chief Pius Akinyelure, Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Hon Agboola Ajayi, Ondo State chairman of the party, Mr Ade Adetimehin and his Ekiti State counterpart, Chief Jide Awe among others.
Ilori who spoke to newsmen after he was rescued, pointed accusing fingers on some leaders of the APC in Ondo State, alleging that some party stalwarts were behind the attack.
He said, “the aim of those who attacked me was to kill him, but the mercy of God prevailed on me. They tore my clothes and made attemptsto stab me but for the presence of my supporters. God loves me and He was the one who rescued me.”
But the Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Yemi Olowolabi while reacting alleged that Ilori came to the venue of the public hearing with weapons and charms, alleging further that his intention was to cause crisis at the venue of the programme, having mobilized people from Osun State to the programme.
He said, “it was an APC event, but some people wore Oranmiyan clothes to the event and also carried Oranmiyan flags with sticks in their hands. They came with weapons and charms. It was clear that they came to foment trouble at the event.”