- Other APC Members Attacked In Ipetumodu
MEMBERS of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who are loyalists of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola were yesterday attacked by armed political thugs.
The hoodlums, it was gathered, invaded the popular Oranmiyan House, located along Gbongan-Ibadan road, Osogbo, State of Osun, where members of the APC who belong to The Osun Progressives (TOP) caucus of the party were holding their weekly meeting, around 2:10PM with a black Siena space bus.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the thugs, who were armed with pump action guns, axes and cutlasses, started shooting sporadically right from the First Bank junction to the front of the Oranmiyan house while they parked their vehicle on the other side of the road.
Some of the hoodlums, according to eye witnesses alighted and started beating members of the APC while others stayed in the vehicle to continue the gunshots.
Two members of the party who are from Ward 3, Osogbo Local Government sustained injuries as a result of the stampede that occurred when people ran for safety outside the gate of the building.
However, there was no major casualty because the hoodlums were unable to gain entry into the gate, forcing them to quickly beat a retreat and fled in their vehicle.
OSUN DEFENDER noted that some officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who usually were at the weekly meeting of TOP were absent yesterday.
The hoodlums were allegedly led by one Akerele from Isokan Local Government of the state.
This is coming four days after the leadership of TOP had raised the alarm that Governor Adegboyega Oyetola led IleriOluwa group was plotting to eliminate leaders and attack members of the caucus.
Some members of the APC who belonged to TOP were also attacked at Ipetumodu, Ife-North Local Government of the State on Tuesday by hoodlums where they were holding their meeting.
Addressing the press after the attack yesterday, chairman of TOP, Reverend Adelowo Adebiyi, said he had no doubt that the thugs were sponsored by the IleriOluwa leaders who wanted to intimidate members of the caucus.
Adebiyi said the attack was a confirmation of the earlier report made by the group that Governor Oyetola’s camp was planning to kill TOP leaders in a desperate move to silence them.
The former Chairman of the APC in Osun called on President Muhamadu Buhari to call Governor Oyetola and his people to order to avoid loss of innocent lives.
He also challenged the security agencies in the state to live up to their responsibility of protecting lives and property of the people of the state.
Adebiyi said: “The thugs believed to have been sent by the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola led IleriOluwa faction of the party invaded the weekly meeting of TOP around 2:10pm today. I was just addressing the caucus when the thugs started shooting. This led to a stampede as APC members scampered for safety. Luckily for us, there were no major casualties as members ran into the main building for safety. But some of our people were wounded.
“We need to state that officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who usually provide security for the weekly meeting were not on ground. Because of the absence of the NSCDC officers, the IleriOluwa group sent thugs to attack us. One Tesleem Raji aka Akerele from Ile Esu, Ikoyi, in Isokan Local Government of the state allegedly led the thugs that attacked us here. That is the same guy that led the attack on us during the state congress.
“Today’s attack is coming three days after we raised alarm that the IleriOluwa people have concluded plans to eliminate leaders of TOP and other members of our party. I released a statement three days ago that some of our leaders were to be assassinated in the state by the IleriOluwa group. Today’s attack bears us witness that they are indeed after us.
“We need to remind security agencies in the state that they are responsible for the safety of the lives and property of our people. They should not wait until one of us is killed before they act on our petitions and reports. We will officially inform the Commissioner of Police, the AIG Zone XI and the State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on today’s attack.
“This is a serious concern for all of us in the state. We have been holding weekly meetings for the past four months. We have not attacked anyone. We urge the President to intervene now. Why will the government be using thugs to attack members of the same party openly in the afternoon?
“On August 16, the same set of people attacked us at the party secretariat. We were arrested and arraigned in court instead of the perpetrators of the attack. But the court set us free. During the state congress, they came to attack us again and two of our members were shot. Two days ago, they attacked some of our members in Ipetumodu, Ife North Local Government during their meeting. Today again, the same thing happened to us.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector General of Police to come and see what is happening in Osun. Governor Oyetola’s led IleriOluwa group is after our lives”.
One of the members of the APC, Abeeb Akinpade, who was at the meeting during the attack said the thugs came from Gbodofon road and started shooting at the junction.
Akinpade said: “I was on the main road when we heard the first gunshot. I looked straight away and saw this black Siena space bus coming from Gbodofon side. Two guys from the vehicle were holding pump action guns and they sat at the unclosed doors. They shot again at the First Bank junction too.
“When they got to the front of the Oranmiyan House where we were holding our meeting, they parked on the road and started shooting sporadically. Some of them came out with guns and axes. We ran into the main building as people scampered for safety.
“The thugs beat some people and used axe to destroy the canopy poles outside the gate. They could not gain entry into the gate just as they beat retreat and fled. They drove along Ogo-Oluwa. That was around 2:10PM.
“I am surprised that the thugs came today when the civil defence officers were not on ground. There is connection between the absence of the civil defence officers and the attack.
“Don’t forget that a group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, had last week accused the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, of using civil defence officers to protect his loyalists in the state. There is no doubt, that the group was sponsored by the IleriOluwa people to harass the civil defence.
“The security agents should question the leaders of the group because they are in one way or the other connected to today’s attack. The group is no doubt working for Governor Adegboyega Oyetola. Why is it that there was an attack on us when the civil defence officers were absent today? The group wants the security agencies not to provide us security again so that we can be open to attacks from its sponsor, IleriOluwa group. The group needs to be investigated.”