- Suffered 16 Attacks Between March, 2021 And Feb, 2022
- Oyetola Preparing Violent Ground For Rigging – Salinsile
- TOP Acting Scripts To Gain Sympathy – AkereOsun APC Crisis: Aregbesola Loyalists Under Siege
LOYALISTS of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of Interior, appear to be under siege in the face of the ongoing crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress in the State of Osun.
OSUN DEFENDER noted that no fewer than 16 politically motivated attacks have so far been carried out on Aregbesola’s loyalists and his property between Sunday, March 28, 2021 and Thursday, February 4, 2022.
This, according to security experts, is an indication that there is a resurgent wave of political violence which if not curtailed, could result to full blown breakdown of law and order in the state.
It was observed that prior to the crisis between Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and his predecessor, Aregbesola, there was no record of political violence within the APC in Osun.
But violence crept into the party when the rift between Aregbesola and Oyetola became a public knowledge.
“The need to establish ‘where power is’ through suppression of opposing voice to the governor’s second term is responsible for the resurgence of political violence in the state”, said a political analyst.
OSUN DEFENDER noted that attacks on the Minister’s loyalists started when some hoodlums attacked Aregbesola’s Personal Assistant, Mr. Olateju Adunni, on March 28, 2021 in Osogbo.
Adunni was attacked at a birthday event of Hon. Taofeek Badmus, who is representing Osogbo Constituency at the House of Assembly.
According to Adunni, the leader of the hoodlums that led the attack was a known notorious thug who with his gang members have been enjoying executive protection in the state.
Also, scores of members of the APC who belong to The Osun Progressives (TOP), a caucus of the party, were attacked in different parts of the state during the July 31 2021 Ward Congress of the party.
The attacks were carried out by hoodlums allegedly sponsored by Governor Oyetola’s IleriOluwa camp which wanted to enforce consensus against the elective congress demanded by TOP members.
During the ward congress, some members of the APC who participated in the elective ward congress in Osogbo, Iree, Ilesa, Ikire, Ife, Oyan were attacked and harrased by political hoodlums.
On August 14, 2021, some members of the APC who were at the Party’s Secretariat in Osogbo to submit their petitions on the conduct of the ward congress to the appeal committee were attacked by hoodlums.
The sitting of the appeal committee was abruptly brought to an end at past 4pm when hoodlums who had gathered at the secretariat started pebbling stones at the petitioners.
The hoodlums were chorusing ‘No Petition, No petition,” as they launched attack on the peaceful APC members.
OSUN DEFENDER noted that the majority of the hoodlums put on ‘Oyetola 4+4’ fez caps. They had snuck into the premises of the secretariat and settled behind a container where they were smoking cannabis sativa.
The hoodlums fired a gunshot into the air before pebbling stones at the petitioners while the security operatives at the premises of the secretariat were helpless.
On the evening of August 14, 2021, the residence of the former commissioner for Youths, Sports and Special Needs, Comrade Biyi Odunlade in Ile-Ife, was attacked while his car was vandalized.
The assailants had wanted to maim him but he was lucky not to be at home.
On August 26, five gunmen laid siege to the house of the Youth Leader of the Salinsile faction of the APC, Mr. Abosede Oluwaseun, at Dada Estate, Osogbo.
The gunmen subjected Oluwaseun and his wife to inhuman treatment before taking away his phone and the little amount of money with him. Oluwaseun was asked to deactivate his password on the phone by the gunmen before taking it way. According to him, the gunmen appeared to have come for just the phone, but needed to dramatise to make their operation look like armed robbery.
Some members of the party who belong to TOP were also attacked by hoodlums in Ede during the Local Government Congress of the APC, held on September 4, 2021.
On September 12, 2021, APC members who belong to TOP were attacked around 5pm at St John’s Grammar School, Oke Atan, Ilode Area, Ile-Ife, where they were holding their weekly meeting.
According to eye witnesses, the thugs who were about 20 stormed the meeting with a wine colour space bus drove by a former youth leader of the party and motorcycles.
About 15 people sustained injury in the attack that lasted for about 30 minutes, according to the victims.
On October 18, 2021, Women Leader of the APC in Boripe Local Government, Mrs. Yemisi Asiyanbola and two members of the party, Mr. Joseph Adegboye from Ward 5, Ada and Mr Gbenga were brutally attacked by thugs.
Asiyanbola and the two APC members were attacked at their various houses for belonging to TOP, according to them.
During the parallel State Congress of the party held at an open space hectre of land, opposite Ladsol Pure Water, Ogo-Oluwa, Osogbo, two members of the party were shot by armed political hoodlums in a massive attack launched on the party faithful on October 16, 2021.
The hoodlums had attacked members of the party in attempt to disrupt the congress which produced Hon. Rasaq Salinsile as Chairman, Alhaji Azeez Adesiji as Deputy Chairman and Hon. Adelani Baderinwa as Secretary of the party.
Mrs. Adedapo Atobatele and Mr. Ismail Akinyode were directly shot by hoodlums during the attack.
On November 16, 2021 members of the APC who belonged to the Salinsile faction of the party were also attacked in Ipetumodu, Ife North Local Government of the state.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the attack came after the Caretaker Chairman of the local government, Hon. Ayoola Adeyeba, stopped the APC members from holding factional inaugural meeting of the elected executives of the party in the local government.
The council chairman was said to have insisted that the APC members would not hold the meeting, in spite of the notification sent to the police and Department of State Service.
But Ayoola denied the allegation that he led thugs to attack the APC members.
Members of The Osun Progressives (TOP) were also attacked by some gunmen during their meeting at Oranmiyan House, Osogbo on November 18, 2021. The gunmen shot sporadically, beating the APC members and destroyed the canopies at the meeting.
There was an attempt to disrupt the TOP meeting at Eripa, Boluwaduro Local Government, by some political thugs allegedly hired by some government officials in the local government, on January 5, 2022.
Eripa Town Hall where the meeting was supposed to be held was shut when TOP and the IleriOluwa faction wanted to resort to violence.
However, there were gunshots in the town after the TOP members left the townhall to hold the meeting elsewhere in the town.
The gunshots were reportedly fired by hoodlums to harass and intimidate the TOP members.
On Tuesday, February 1, 2022, the APC members in the Salinsile’s faction were also attacked by political thugs in Ikirun during a Federal Constituency meeting.
The attack was carried out at two different times on the same day by the hoodlums. Some of the thugs reportedly used ‘Oyetola 4+4 face caps.
However, some of the organisers of the meeting were arrested by the police, charged to court and remanded in Ilesa Correctional Centre.
The development is part of the reason why the Salinsile faction accused the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Wale Olokode of bias, arguing that the police left the real suspects to arrest the victims of the attack.
Just a day after the Ikirun attack, the Caretaker Chairman of Oriade Local Government, Mr. Bunmi Obeisun, was accused of harassing members of the APC in an attempt to prevent them from holding the Federal Constituency meeting in Ijebu-Jesa, on February 2, 2022.
A retired United States Navy officer, Bamidele Fagbulu, Ph.D, also accused Obeisun of leading hoodlums to attack him same day.
Fagbulu alleged that Obeisun first slapped him before ordering the hoodlums to descend on him in front of First Bank, Market Square, Ijebu-Jesa around 11:30am.
The Salinsile faction was to hold a meeting at IK Dairo park, located around the Ijebu-Jesa central mosque.
But the meeting could not hold as hoodlums, allegedly acting on the order of Obeisun stormed the venue of the programme and destroyed the chairs and canopies there. The development led to the suspension of the meeting.
The mother of all the attacks was the one carried out on Oranmiyan House last Thursday, February 3, 2022.
Gunmen, who were said to be about five in number, laid siege to the building around 5:10pm. The gunmen, according to eye witnesses, sprayed the building and the transformer outside with bullets.
According to the witnesses, the gunmen threw petrol-soaked foam inside the building and on the canopies in the compound in an attempt to set the building ablaze.
On the evening of that day, some members of the APC were attacked in Ifon, Orolu Local Government of the State.
The APC members were attacked where they were holding their meeting at Ayetoro, opposite Carpenter Hall, Ifon.
According to some of the APC members who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER under condition of anonymity, the hoodlums stormed the meeting around 6pm and started shooting sporadically.
The hoodlums reportedly unleashed machete cuts on two members of the party, Alh. Sani Muhammed and Isiaka Irewumi.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that police have arrested one Mustapha Saidu who allegedly attacked the victims with cutlass.
Sources at the police station told the medium that the Caretaker Chairman of Orolu Local Government, Hon Benson Adekunle and Chairman of Oloru Area Council, Kazeem Oladejo were with Saidu at the station.
Also, a billboard erected with the picture of Aregbesola was set ablaze on Friday, February 4, 2022, by hoodlums. The billboard which was erected at Jaleoyemi junction, Osogbo, was said to have been burnt by the hoodlums at the early hours of Friday.
Oyetola Preparing Violent Ground For Rigging – Salinsile
Reacting to the series of attacks, the Chairman of the APC, Hon Rasaq Salinsile, said Governor Adegboyega Oyetola had been waging war against members of the party who opposed his divisive tendency and bitter politics since he became the governor.
According to Salinsile, Oyetola-led IleriOluwa camp resorted to violence because it has dawn on it that it is not popular within the party.
Salinsile, in an interview with OSUN DEFENDER yesterday, said Oyetola’s loyalists are trying to intimidate members of the party ahead of the governorship primaries.
He said: “The crisis in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State of Osun began immediately after the inauguration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola in November, 2018.
“The crisis started when Oyetola began to mark some members of the party as archenemy after his emergence as the Governor of the state. The governor started his administration with politics of division and bitterness which degenerated into the current crisis in the party.
“They thought they were popular, but when it dawned on them that we own the party, they resorted to violence to intimidate our people.
“The Oyetola people have been persistent in attacking us, while the police are also consistent in aiding them. The police under the leadership of Mr Wale Olokode, has been compromised by the Oyetola government.
“All the attacks on us is an indication that Governor Oyetola is preparing violent ground for the upcoming governorship primary of the party. Oyetola knows he cannot win a free and fair contest. That is the reason they shielded away from elective congresses last year. They are not popular.”
TOP Acting Scripts To Gain Sympathy – Akere
But the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Chief Sunday Akere, absolved Oyetola and his loyalists of being the masterminds of the political violence in Osun.
Akere, in an interview with OSUN DEFENDER yesterday, said TOP members were responsible for the political violence in Osun, saying that all the reported attacks on them was just a script to gain the sympathy of the people.
Akere said: “Why did we have to prepare a violent ground? Who is perpetrating violence? When you are in the majority, you don’t have any fear. Oyetola has the majority and the support of the party people in Osun. Whoever is sure that he has the majority in the party should come out on February 19 to contest against Oyetola.
“Let them come out and queue at the 332 wards in the state. Nobody is perpetrating violence. The governor and the entire party machinery are ready for the primary.
“It is the TOP people that are attacking themselves. They are creating an environment of violence. The facts are there; it is logical. Who will come to Oranmiyan House to attack the building? What is the essence of attacking the building?
“They said the people that attacked the building came after the people have concluded their meeting and left. It is TOP people that are instigating violence. They are acting script to gain public sympathy. We have seen through their logic.
“You need to see how people are welcoming the Governor at various local government during the ongoing Strategic engagement tour. The governor is loved and supported by the people. It is the minority that is instigating violence in the state.”