By Jeleel Olawale
It was free for all in Ile-Ife when suspected thugs to be loyal to the Peoples Democratic Party unleashed violence on supporters of the All Progressives Congress House of Representatives candidate, Engr. Benjamin Adereti.
According to an eyewitness account, the suspected PDP thugs stormed Ilare, the family compound of the APC House of Representatives candidate, Benjamin Adereti and unleashed terror on his supporters who were peacefully conducted themselves.
Findings revealed that supporters of the APC candidate were attacked with dangerous weapons and sustained various degree of injury. Ade Tomiwa Babatunde and one identified as Gbenga from Ilare Ward three were wounded.
Responding on the incident, the APC candidate, Benjamin Adereti described the attack on his supporters as barbaric, provocative and shock which should be condemned by all lovers of peace in Ile-Ife.
He said the thugs were led by Nurudeen Falabi, Oladipupo Oluwole and one Babu to carry out the attack on innocent people who were going about their normal business.
“We are aware of this calculated attack by PDP to intimidate our supporters. However, we are not surprised as Yoruba adage says ‘Ile ton toro omo ale Ibe ni ko ti dagba.’
“Our party has been calm and will remain calm in the face of provocation not because we do not have what it takes to fight back but because we know that the bastard will not care if the house gets burnt.
“We therefore, appeal to our royal institutions to speak truth to power and call the PDP leaders and thugs to order to avert breakdown of law and order in our community. As His Imperial Majesty is a symbol of peace and our community has been experiencing peace during the reign of our great party.
“We will continue to maintain the path of peace which is our symbol of Omoluabi. We also call on all security agencies to swing into action and bring the culprits to book, even though they have boasted openly that no law enforcement agent has power over them,” Adereti declared.
According to a petition cited by our correspondent written by Kanmi Adetunju of Legal Hedges Chambers, Ile Ife and addressed to the Area Commander, Moore Divisional Office, noted that “our clients have been in the last two weeks witnessing some style of destruction and defacing of their billboards and posters coupled with physical attacks on their members by the hoodlums.”
The petition reads in part, “They have also perfected plans to physically attack the APC candidate for the House of Representatives election in Ile-Ife, Engr. Benjamin Kayode Adereti.
“Our client’s candidate is a lover of peace who always call for calmness, there could have been physical face-off and confrontations between the hoodlums and the loyal members of the party that believe this despicable acts should be resisted.”
The petition therefore urges police to order full investigation and prosecute whoever is found culpable of the despicable act.
Reacting, a member of the PDP who preferred anonymity, denied the attack on some members of the APC in Ile-Ife, describing the allegation as unfounded and spurious lies.
Calls made to the Ile Ife police Area Commander showed that his phone had been switched off as the time of filling this report.