At least one person was reportedly killed during a clash between suspected political thugs belonging to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and members of the opposition party in the town, Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in Idanre, Idanre Local Government Area of Ondo state.
It was gathered that no fewer than 20 persons were either stabbed or injured during the encounter and they were said to be receiving medical attention at different hospitals in the council.
An eye witness explained that trouble started when some political thugs suspected to be APC members saw a young man, identified as Taiwo, putting on a ZLP face cap and ordered him to remove the cap.
The ZLP member was said to have queried the political thugs and refused to removed the cap, while the thugs swarmed on him, beat and macheted him until life was snuffed out of him.
Taiwo was said to have been left dead in the pool of his blood while some of his members and friends who tried to defend him were injured by the thugs who were allegedly led by one Agarawu who resides in the town.
The source said “Taiwo was macheted severally by the thugs until he could not move again while those who attempted to rescue him were also injured.
He said his remains had been deposited at the morgue of the General Hospital, Alade Idanre, noting that similar incident occurred some few ago before the local government election in the state.
Confirming the attack and death of one of ZLP in Idanre, the Director-General of the Agboola Ajayi Campaign Organisation, Kola Ademujinmi, described the development as unfortunate, saying the APC thugs had been threatening other opposition parties in the town.
Ademujinmi warned the thugs against causing a crisis in the town saying the incident had been reported at the police station.
In his reaction to the allegations, the APC state Publicity Secretary, Alex Kalejaiye, said the party would not condone thuggery and distanced the party from the attack.
Kalejaye said “APC will neither promote violence nor endure thuggery”
He called on security agents in the state to investigate the incident to unravel those behind the attack.
Meanwhile, youths from the town on Thursday disrupted commercial activities in the town, protesting over the incessant attack by political thugs on the people of the town.
The youths who blocked the main road, however, retired to the palace of the town’s monarch to register their grievances over the ugly political developments in the town.
They explained that the peaceful community of Idanre had been witnessing bloody clashes suspected to be politically motivated by groups in recent times which had been giving serious concern to the people of the town.
It was gathered that meeting to douse political tension and stop inter party clashes in the town had been held while another one was planned for the weekend in bid to stop electoral violence in the kingdom.
However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Idanre has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, calling for the investigation, arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the attack.
The counsel to the PDP, Legal Komfort Associates, and signed by
Leye Akintugbobo said the petition became necessary to serve as the security alert and for security operatives to take proactive measures ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in the state
The petitioners said hoodlums, “terrorized innocent law-abiding citizens both day and night even as they wielded in broad daylight dangerous weapons which include but not limited to well-sharpened cutlasses, sophisticated guns, cudgels, pick-axes etc thereby disrupting the relative peace hitherto enjoyed by Idanre community.
“With due respect sir, all these atrocities were perpetrated under the watch of Idanre Divisional Police officers as they helplessly looked the other side while the above-named persons were unleashing violence on perceived political opponents and innocent but law-abiding citizens.”
The petitioners added that the hoodlums in question often hide under the power of incumbency to perpetrate obnoxious and nefarious crimes with impunity.
However, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) confirmed the incident, saying one person was killed during the fracas between two rival political parties.
He said policemen from the command have been able to restore normalcy in the town with a promise that those behind the attack would be brought to book.