…Soldiers, others deployed to quell crisis
…APC, PDP trade blames
…We’re on top of situation- Police
By Dayo Johnson
SPORADIC gunshots rent the air in Akure, the Ondo state capital as political thugs engaged in a bloody clash which left three persons with serious gunshot injuries.
Soldiers, mobile detectives and other security operatives were deployed to the troubled scene to restore peace.
Scores were also injured as thugs sympathetic to the two major political parties- the All Progressive Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, engaged in a bloody clash at Ijomu/Oba-Nla junctions in Akure metropolis.
Residents of Obanla in Akure, the Ondo state capital scampered for safety weekend as political thugs went berserk shooting sporadically at each other in broad daylight.
The bloody clash is coming barely five days to the governorship election in the state
It is the third time thugs linked to both parties are locking in bloody attacks.
Speaking on the issue, an eyewitness claimed that PDP supporters were the first to attack those of the rival APC late Saturday evening at Obanla Junction, Oba Adesida Road in the metropolis.
Major streets were hurriedly deserted as tension heightened on Saturday night.
In a reprisal attack, supporters of APC reportedly mobilised about 55 thugs to attack their PDP counterparts.
A source said that police detectives deployed to the scene beat a retreat following the sophisticated weapons displayed by the thugs.
The scene of the violence is a few metres away from the a Divisional police station in Akure.
Those who were on their way to church were forced to turn back in order not to be hit by stray bullets.
Spokesperson of the Akeredolu Campaign Organisation, Richard Olabode Olatunde, in a statement said: ”The Akeredolu/Aiyedatiwa Campaign Organisation is shocked by this latest reign of violence, wherein some PDP leaders, in brazen display of wickedness and barbarism, supervised attacks on members and supporters of APC at the Obanla junction in Akure metropolis.
“We note that Oba-Nla junction is the political base of some PDP chieftains. Therefore, the source of this latest wave of thuggery and violence should not be far-fetched.
“We know that the popularity of the APC candidate, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has become a source of worry to the PDP. But rather than seeking legitimate means to shore up support, the party is bent on decimating the overwhelming and massive support that the APC is enjoying across the state, ahead of Saturday’s Governorship election.
“lt is unfortunate that the PDP continues to move on this path of perdition despite several appeals. Our charge to security agents is to stop the party from turning our dear state into a theatre of war in the name of election suffices and shall be sustained. This is to underscore our resolve not seek self help as we inch towards the election day.”
Responding, PDP governorship Candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, in a statement said: “Akure was kept awake last night and has continued into Sunday as the APC led battalion of thugs causing mayhem in Akure.
“PDP supporters were attacked in their homes with gunfire raging across the city including Bye pass, Isolo, Obanla, Okeijebu all the way to Agbogbo and the Express-way among others. An eye-witness reported that a shoot at sight mission is happening as they grossly invaded Opomulero office at Bye-pass, Akure.
“The thugs who got to the scene around 7.30pm were fully armed with sophisticated ammunitions and rained gunshots sporadically at the office complex where many were reported to have sustained different degrees of injuries. They are now receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.
“We believe this is a deliberate attack given that Akure South LGA is a stronghold of Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, and it is aimed at creating major voter apathy among the determined electorate, by creating fear of endangering their lives if they go out to vote on Saturday.
“The unprovoked attacks have been escalating in the last few weeks and the APC thugs in the absence of arrests or intervention by the law enforcement agencies.”
The PDP urged President Buhari and the Inspector General of Police, CP, DSS and other security agencies to urgently arrest the situation which they alleged resulted in several deaths and needless destruction of properties.
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