SUPPORTERS of Senator Ademola Adeleke and those of Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi have been trading blames on the killing of two members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), during the congress to elect the 3-Man Ad-Hoc Ward Delegates to the Special State Congress of the party on Wednesday.
The delegates’ congress to choose members of the party who will participate in the March 7 governorship primary election of the PDP turned bloody, leading to the death of two people.
A Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) was also burnt by armed political thugs in front of the PDP secretariat in Ipetumodu, Ife North Local Government of the state while scores of the party members sustained injuries.
A member of the PDP, Toheeb Mutalib, was killed at Ward 14, Oke-Oba, Agberire village in Iwo Local Government by armed political thugs who invaded the ward to disrupt the congress around 1:30pm.
Another member of the PDP, Aremu Olamide, who was shot in the leg by hoodlums at the secretariat of the PDP in Ipetumodu also died in the violent ward congress.
Members of the PDP, particularly supporters of two major governorship aspirants, Adeleke and Ogunbiyi have been pointing accusing fingers at one another.
The supporters of Ogunbiyi were accusing the Adeleke camp of being behind the violence that marred the election, saying that it imported thugs to unleash mayhem on innocent members of the party during the congress.
Commenting on the outcome of the ward congress, Mr Emmanuel Monyeh, a staunch supporter of Ogunbiyi said Adeleke’s supporters were responsible for the violence that greeted the congress.
Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER in a telephone interview yesterday, Monyeh said: “The violence that happened yesterday (Wednesday) was wrong. Sometimes ago, some people were beaten up at the party secretariat (Akin Adeyi, Diran Odeyemi, Soji Adagunodo). After that, the people who perpetrated that act were compensated with alerts because they were reported to the police and were arrested and sent to detention. They received alert which served as compensation for assault in favour of a particular candidate.
“At that time, because there was no punishment or reprimand for that kind of action, it became a thing of glorification; as they were able to embarrass top people especially the high-ranking ones within the party without consequences.
“The only way people felt they could gain attention and recognition of people who are dispensing these funds was to make sure that they physically embarrass any top ranking member of the party that is against the ambition of Senator Ademola Adeleke.
“This emboldened them to such an extent that the same thing that led to the exit of the former governor of the state, Senator Isiaka Adeleke from the PDP when he was assaulted by the then Minister of Police Affairs, is the same thing they now applied to former governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola at a hotel in Osogbo.
“Oyinlola incidentally has not been visibly active in taking side with anybody. But because the culture of intimidation has become established within the party as a means of gaining attention, people started shouting at him and there was no disclaimer whatsoever until after there was a counter demonstration in Okuku.
“The disclaimer came as a sort of afterthought. Anytime you disagree with anyone in that group, their claims are that ‘you are a mole, an APC member or you are working for Oyetola’.
“When they say that the people who were affected by the violence were not PDP members, how many people know the picture of every PDP member? Can you see a man and know from his face that he is a PDP member or a none PDP member?
“At the end of the day, if the PDP ticket is secured, is that how the vote for the general election will be secured? Will it lead voters to vote for the party after you have secured the ticket using obnoxious means?
Speaking on Rave FM’s Frank Talk programme yesterday in Osogbo, Prince Diran Odeyemi, a supporter of Adeleke, absolved its camp from the violence that rocked the congress.
He said: “In a situation whereby you have six people contesting for a position, there are bound to be competition, altercation and skirmishes and that is politics for you, but the most unfortunate aspect is when people become too desperate.
“In the spirit of serving people, I don’t believe you should be so desperate to the extent of moving around with thugs, trying to disturb the process.
“In every political parties, we always have people we called ‘Aanigba groups’ (the non-conformists) and whatever the party does to ensure a free and fair election, they will always come back to go against it or blackmail whoever is trying his best.
“Whoever is not playing their games or when things are not going in their favour, they will always find an excuse. The commissioner of police in the state made sure the hall we used was secured for everybody. Whoever was in the hall is a party member.
“If they are now saying that thugs entered the hall to distraught the process, it is a mere allegation and an excuse because they know they have failed. When you are in the minority, they will always find an excuse to fault the process but in this case, the failed.
“They are blaming Senator Ademola Adeleke because they don’t have support from anywhere. They know they are failures and I want to say that nobody brought thugs anywhere. Whatever happened, let us leave it to the police to investigate.
“Everything went well on Wednesday and may the soul of the diseased rest in peace. It is quite unfortunate that it happened and I’m using this opportunity to call on the police to ensure that whoever is involved is brought to book.”