Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
No fewer than 10 persons sustained serious injuries and several vehicles vandalised as the supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Allied People’s Movement (APM), clashed in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Dangerous weapons such as guns, machetes, stones and cudgels were freely used by suspected political thugs during the incident, which according to findings, happened at Elega Junction, Mokola, Ago Ika and Sokori areas of Abeokuta metropolis.
Supporters of the APC governorship candidate, Dapo Abiodun, and the APM standard bearer,Mr. Adekunle Akinlade, however, traded blames over the incident which rocked the capital.
But according an eye witnesses account, the clashes allegedly occurred when the APC campaign train ran into the entourage of a House of Representatives member and candidate for Abeokuta North/Obafemi-Owode/Odeda federal constituency, Mr. Mikky Kazzim.
Supporters of the two parties were initially said to have engaged in heated argument but it later degenerated into physical confrontation.
In the ensuing melee, some hoodlums allegedly shot sporadically, leaving many party stalwarts scampering to safety.
In the process, some party members sustained injuries, while several vehicles and property were equally damaged and vandalised.
Meanwhile, a combined team of operatives of Quick Response Squad (QRS), Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) have been deployed to the scenes of the attack to restore normalcy.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, could not be immediately reached for comments on the incident.
But a former Minister of Mines and Steel Development and Director-General of APM Campaign Council, Alhaji Sarafa Isola, confirmed the incident, saying his party supporters who were having a meeting at Ward 5 in Mokola area were attacked.
He urged the APM supporters to remain calm and resist temptation to be violent ahead of the general elections.
But reacting, the Publicity Secretary of Ogun APC Caretaker Committee, Tunde Oladunjoye, said the party’s governorship candidate, Dapo Abiodun, was attacked and barely escaped being assassinated by suspected hoodlums.
Oladunjoye in a release on Thursday afternoon, claimed that suspected urchins had mounted a barricade, brandishing guns and other dangerous weapons, and ready to attack APC members, particularly Abiodun and his running mate, who were approaching on a mobile podium.
He added that APC had earlier gathered through intelligence report that Abiodun, who is currently on campaign tour of Abeokuta North Local Government Area, would be attacked and probably be assassinated by the thugs allegedly sponsored by the APM.