According to a report by The Nation, there was pandemonium in Itaji-Ekiti in Oye Council Area following a clash between some supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) and the opposition Social Democratic Party in Ekiti State.
The incident, which resulted in the killing of one member of the APC, Tope Ajayi, occurred on Saturday as the supporters of the two political parties clashed when they went to the sleepy community for campaigns ahead of next Saturday’s governorship poll.
Apart from the reportedly dead casualty, several others who sustained different degrees of injuries during the fracas are being treated at the Intensive Care Unit of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti.
When contacted, the Ekiti State Police Public Relations Officer, Sunday Abutu confirmed incident, said the Command had not been briefed on the number of casualties.
“Yes , there was a clash at Itaji between opposition parties members and that investigation to unravel what transpired and the number of casualties as well as the possible arrest of culprits have commenced.
Abutu said the police, had however, quelled the bedlam and restored normalcy to the beleaguered town.
“But on the killing of a person, we are yet to get that confirmation. As soon as that is done, I will update the press”, he stated.
However, the APC and SDP had started engaging in blame game over the fracas in attempt to extricate themselves from the violence which caused tension in the sleepy community.
The Director, Media and Publicity, Biodun Oyebanji Campaign Organisation, Chief Taiwo Olatunbosun, said its campaign in Ekiti North senatorial district was orderly and peaceful earlier until it was allegedly disrupted by hoodlums on the instruction of a former House of Representatives member.
Olatunbosun claimed that those affected were allegedly shot by the SDP thug who swooped on a faulty campaign vehicle branded with the APC candidate, Biodun Oyebanji’s posters between Itaji Ekiti.
He claimed that the hoodlums besides shooting the dead member in the chest, also allegedly rained bullets on a vehicle belonging to the Special Adviser on Road Infrastructures to the Governor, Hon Rufus Adunmo.
Olatunbosun explained that the activities of the Biodun Oyebanji Campaign Organisation had been rancour-free and devoid of any violence since it began.
“It is tragic that within one week of Daramola decamping to the SDP, we have recorded a spate of violence including an attack on our campaign rally at Oke Ayedun on Friday, and now the brutal killing of our member today, and the maiming of many others who are now battling for their lives in the hospital.”
Olatunbosun commiserated with the family of the deceased, and called on the security agencies in the state to investigate the incident thoroughly and ensure the perpetrators are brought to book, while calling on all APC members and the general public to go about their normal activities without fear.
Countering Olatunbosun’s position, the Director of Media and Publicity, Segun Oni Campaign Organisation, Jackson Adebayo, said the APC should be held liable for the alleged heinous crime.
He said: “We were at the palace at Itaji Ekiti where Asiwaju Segun Oni was meeting with obas in the local government area. some people were outside the palace, suddenly we saw about five buses loaded with transporters who are being used as political thugs associated with Governor Fayemi and the APC.
“They started shooting sporadically. we initially thought they were shooting to scare us away, people were running helter skelter without knowing that they really targeted our members to kill.
“They were also trying to force their way to where Engineer Segun oni was may be in an attempt to assassinate him. That was when they were repelled by security agencies who came to the rescue and repelled them.
“But unfortunately, one of the thugs missed their vehicle because he fell down. We interrogated him and he said they were agents of APC. They left, we learnt one of them died later, but I would not know how”.