NB247

The campaign rally of the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party(SDP), Segun Oni, was on Wednesday, disrupted by political thugs, inflicting injuries on supporters and damaging vehicles.

It is not yet known which group or party the thugs are supporting.

The rally was holding at Efon Alaaye, in Efon Local Government Area where he had gone for campaigns.

Incidentally, Efon is the hometown of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Bisi Kolawole.

Director of Publicity, Segun Oni campaign organisation, Jackson Adebayo, said the hoodlums besieged the venue of the rally, shot sporadically into the air and wounded many in the process.

Mr Adebayo said the hoodlums brandished  guns, cutlasses, sticks and stones, but were confronted by combined forces of security men, who averted bloodshed in the process. 

“The campaign train which had successfully toured nine local governments since Monday and fully received by large turnout of members and supporters of the SDP was attacked with gunshots, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons at the centre of the town around 3.30pm,” Mr Adebayo said.

“Shortly after the Efon Local Government members and supporters of the SDP had converged at the venue to wait for the arrival of  the party’s governorship candidate, Segun Oni, the thugs started shooting and attacked the supporters with sticks and cutlasses.

“Some supporters were badly injured and vehicles in the convoy were damaged by thugs before the arrival of a detachment of police, who overpowered the thugs.

 “An officer of the Nigeria Security and  Civil Defence Corps was not spared by the thugs as they attempted to snatch his gun, though he was wounded, but refused to surrender his gun.”

The Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Sunday Abutu, confirmed the attack, saying  the gun wielding  thugs invaded the campaign ground of the former governor and made spirited efforts to disrupt it.

“Yes, the hoodlums  came to the venue with dangerous weapons to disrupt the consultation process of the SDP candidate, Engr Segun Oni, but our men were able to put the situation under control,” said Mr Abutu.

“The police have begun investigation and arrest will be made and those behind it will surely have a case to answer.”

Mr Oni called on the state governor, Kayode Fayemi to deploy his expertise  in war studies  to tackle senseless killings, kidnapping and ritual killings in the state.

“I am calling on governor Kayode Fayemi, who has PhD in War Studies, to use his knowledge to tackle kidnapping in the state,” he said.

“Kidnappers have declared war on our people, this has been going on since for four years ago and it has not ceased.”

The attack is the first major incident of electoral violence ahead of the June 18 governorship election, and a timely pointer to what will be expected in the coming weeks.

Mr Oni is a formidable candidate and a major contender for the office being a former governor popular among the lower strata of the society.

He is the most experience of the candidates of the other two candidates of the PDP and APC.

Although he had hopped from the APC to the PDP in search of the governorship ticket, before he finally settled in the SDP, where he clinched the ticket.

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