■ It’s assassination attempt on Fayemi –Party
Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
An All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant and former member of the House of Reps, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (MOB), was among 10 party members shot yesterday by an unknown mobile policeman, who allegedly released a barrage of bullets after a rousing welcome rally organised by the party to receive its standard bearer for the July 14 poll, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
What was first misunderstood as deliberate shooting at the APC Secretariat on Ajilosun area of Ado Ekiti, the State capital, where the welcome rally held, was later gathered to be an alleged mishandling of firearms by the mobile policeman, who was alleged to be “ over protecting’ one of the VIPs shortly after the rally ended. The APC has however alleged that Fayemi was the target of the gun attack while the state police command said the policeman involved was on an illegal duty from Lagos.
Journalists were about leaving the venue of the rally, when staccato gunshots were heard, which forced people to scamper for safety. In the process, one of the APC aspirants, Bamidele, was hit and was said to be receiving treatment at the hospital.
It was further gathered that the policeman, who allegedly mishandled the gun was protecting some of the VIPs from some miscreants, who in the process of demanding money from them, almost mobbed them.
An eyewitness said: “The mobile policeman in his effort to protect the VIPs, was using his gun to push away the crowd. Not satisfied, they got annoyed and dragged the gun with him. It was then he shot sporadically in the air, to scare them away.”
Another eyewitness said: “The mobile policeman in question who allegedly mishandled his gun, was mobbed by angry party members who eventually disarmed him. He was said to have been behaving funny earlier in the day, leading to some of his colleagues urging him to surrender his weapon. Some had even alleged that he was probably drunk.”
Bamidele was hurriedly moved into the car conveying Ondo State governor and taken to the hospital, while another victim fell down fuelling suspicion he must have died. Before the crisis, Akeredolu while addressing party members, said Fayemi had come home to rescue Ekiti from the pangs of poverty and wanton neglect caused by the PDP administration. Akeredolu applauded the party members for putting behind them the post
primary crisis, saying with the crowd he saw Ekiti remains the stronghold of the APC.
In his response, Fayemi said: “We are here to work for Ekiti and this we are going to do together because it is a collective responsibility”.
In the same vein, policemen detailed to cover the rally, allegedly shot and threw teargas canisters arbitrarily at some people in Ojumose area of Ado Ekiti.
Ojumose is about a kilometer to the APC Secretariat, where the shooting had earlier taken place. A taxi driver, a woman and two others yet to be identified, were said to have been seriously injured.
Meanwhile, the APC in the state, has alleged that the tragic development was an assassination attempt on its candidate. In a statement released to newsmen on Friday evening, hours after the incident, spokesman of the party, Taiwo Olatunbosun, said bloody politicking returned to the State yesterday, as Fayemi survived an assassination in the State capital.
“One of the assailants dressed in mobile police uniform was apprehended and he is now helping the police in their investigation.
“They fired gunshots aimed at Fayemi but hit a former lawmaker, Opeyemi Bamidele, after the former minister had taken a few steps forward before the bullets hit the target. Bamidele and other victims were immediately rushed to the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, where doctors are responding to his treatment. Bamidele was wounded in the attack, while others also sustained various degrees of injuries.
Other victims in the hospital included Olabode Joshua, Olanrewaju Gbenga, Adebayo Ogunjemilehin, Ogunmodede Oluwole and Alex Adeleye, “ he said.