PDP, APC trade accusations over mayhem in Kwara

Kwara state police command says it is yet to make any arrest over reported political clash among supporters of the PDP and APC in the Ilorin metropolis on Thursday.

Supporters of the two leading political parties in the state had engaged in accusation and counter-accusation over mayhem reportedly unleashed in the metropolis, where many party supporters sustained gunshot wounds, machete cuts, just as many were seriously beaten.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state command, Ajayi Okasanmi, said that reports were being compiled from divisional police stations involved, adding that every indicted individual would be arrested and prosecuted.

Speaking on the development in Ilorin on Friday, the PDP chairman in the state, Engineer Kola Shittu and the Director General of the PDP campaign council in the state, Professor Abubakar Sulaiman, said that 11 members of the party were allegedly attacked by the political thugs on the campaign train of the factional APC governorship candidate in the state, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, at various locations in Ilorin on Thursday.

They said that those that were critically injured by the APC suspected thugs were receiving treatment at different hospitals in Ilorin.

Leaders of the PDP, who asked President Muhammadu Buhari and national leaders of the APC to halt the violence allegedly perpetrated by their supporters in the state, also urged security agencies in the state to bring those who unleashed violence on their members to book by arresting and prosecuting them.

The political leaders said that this was necessary to preserve the peaceful nature of the state, adding that, “we have people of the same family in different parties”.

They recalled that hoodlums loyal to the factional APC had also recently destroyed PDP posters and banners at various locations in Ilorin, the state capital.

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Also speaking, the media aide to the APC governorship candidate, Rafiu Ajakaye, said that PDP was only crying wolf to prevent security agencies from cracking down on notorious thugs.

The statement of the PDP is shameless, hypocritical, devilish and is meant to curry undeserved public sympathy.  It is apparently a form of wolf-crying meant to prevent security agencies from cracking down on their notorious thugs for their routine act of violence.

Ajakaye, who said that some APC supporters were waylaid at Agbaji, the homestead of the Senate President, specifically at Ile Aiyelabegan, Ile Otan, Ile Kelebe and Ile Akaje, when the party’s campaign train toured the Ilorin town.

“Our supporters, including one Kale Aribito of Ile Kelebe who sustained serious injuries, were beaten to a pulp in this area while our posters and billboards were torn or vandalised. Machete-wielding thugs linked to the old order barked at old men and women to warn their children to drop their support for APC and its candidates. Complaints have since been lodged at the state police command.

He recalled that act of violence peaked during the yuletide when APC banners, billboards and posters were allegedly destroyed without any provocation.

End

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