Ademola Atobaba in Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti was turned into a battle ground of sort at the weekend as suspected thugs allegedly sponsored by members of the Peoples Democratic Party stormed some communities in Gbonyin and Irepodun/Ifelodun local governments where they allegedly attacked the supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Billboards and posters of APC’s candidates in the March 28 and April 11 general elections were vandalised.
A statement by APC State Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatubosun, said the thugs armed with guns and machetes stormed Igbemo-Ekiti where they disrupted APC ward meeting.
The APC spokesman said the suspected thugs, who wore military uniform abducted Chief Peter Akinsola, Mr. Olusola Bello, Mr. Olujimi Ogunade and 22-year-old Adefemi Ojo during the attack.
But the Deputy Chairman of PDP in the state, Mr. Tayelolu Otitoju, said his members were not involved in the attack.
He said his party members are peace-loving and could not have been involved in act that could portray the state in bad light.
“We are the ones in the Glass House now and whoever lives in the Glass House doesn’t throw stones. So, our members had been seriously warned on the need to eschew violence,” he said.
But Olatunbosun said investigations conducted by the party revealed that the PDP was responsible for the attack .
He said a car belonging to ward chairman was damaged while several members were attacked in an orgy of violence that lasted several minutes.
“They came back in the night unleashing fiercer violence, abducting four members in the process.
“They started their raids from Ijan-Ekiti where they shot sporadically to the air. Residents scampered to safety as thugs went about destroying APC candidates’ billboard and posters.
“After Ijan-Ekiti operation, they headed for Iluomoba-Ekiti where APC ward meeting was disrupted. Billboards and posters of APC candidates, including the chairs and tables were destroyed before moving to other communities in Gbonyin to unleash violence,” Olatubosun said.
He added that the thugs returned to Igbemo-Ekiti at night in three Hilux vans backed by policemen shooting and destroying the billboards and posters of APC candidates, including those of Barrister Rotimi Odu, a member of the House of Assembly seeking re-election.
They also visited Olatubosun and Odu’s homes. The APC spokesman called on the security agencies to intervene to save the lives of abducted members while also urging the police to be even-handed in the current violence being unleashed on APC members by the governor’s thugs.
Meanwhile, pandemonium broke out in Ekiti on Friday as irate mob, suspected to be members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) attacked and beat up an official of the Directorate of State Security (DSS).
Eyewitnesses said trouble started following a disagreement between the students of the Ekiti State University, (EKSU) and commercial drivers over the number of passenger on a seat.
The clash between the students and the commercial drivers occurred in Bawa Area of Ado Ekiti.
It later led into a free-for-all and caused traffic gridlock from Bawa to the University area . The situation took a more violent trend as an official of the Directorate of State Security (DSS), simply identified as Courage was allegedly attacked and beaten silly by some drivers.
The DSS official said he was attacked on his way to office by some of the drivers who were molesting other motorists.
He said though he introduced himself as an officer of the DSS but instead of giving him a free passage, the angry drivers attacked him and tried to disarm him of his pistol.