Violence: Arrest Adelabu now, Lanlehin campaign organisation tells police

•Adelabu, an apostle of peace ― Spokesperson

The Handshake Campaign Organisation (HANCO), official handlers of the Senator Olufemi Lanlehin governorship bid under the banner of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), has called on the police to, without further delay, arrest Chief Bayo Adelabu, All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, over recent killings at APC campaign rallies.

HANCO, in a statement by its Director of Media, Publicity and Protocol, Mr Lanre Ogundipe, who is a former national president of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), said the call became necessary in view of the manner Adelabu had been going about his campaign with armed thugs, adding that the people deserved life and not death.

But in a swift reaction, the spokesperson for Friends of Bayo Adelabu (FOBA), Dr Bayo Busari, said it was wicked to link Adelabu either directly or indirectly with the death of two people killed at a campaign rally in Igboora, explaining that the APC candidate was the target at the rally.

Ogundipe said in his statement: “We find it reprehensible, and absurd, that in this day and age, Mr Adelabu saunters about with thugs, armed to the teeth, with sophisticated weapons and whose stock in trade is killing, maiming and harassment of innocent residents of the state.

“We are alarmed that in this period of serious security breach all over the country, Adelabu’s thugs move about with sophisticated weapons worth millions of naira, that even the Nigerian Army cannot boast of.

“As a mark of honour to the dead, injured and battered, we call on all mosques and churches in Oyo State to pray fervently on Friday and Sunday, for the repose of the souls of the dead, felled by these thugs in the prime of their lives, and for the speedy recovery of the badly injured.

However, spokesperson for the FOBA, countered Ogundipe, wondering why Adelabu, who chairs the state’s Security Trust Fund and had invested resources, time and energy in the security of the people of the state would be the one jeopardising same.

“The incident at Igboora was not the making of Chief Adelabu and it is wicked for anyone to link him directly or indirectly to the death of those who lost their lives. He is an apostle of peace who is passionate about enthroning a peaceful environment in the length and breadth of the state.

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“From every indication, Chief Adelabu was the target of attack by those who orchestrated the unfortunate incident, which left several members of APC sustaining various degrees of injury.

“But for providence two assailants who made spirited attempt to harm Chief Adelabu would have succeeded and if they had, only God knows what those calling for his arrest would be saying now.

“How would Chief Adelabu as the chairman of Oyo State Security Trust Fund and who has invested his resources, energy and time to ensure that the state enjoys peace in the last two years turn around to promote violence?

“It is on record that the APC gubernatorial hopeful has run the most organised, most visible and most robust campaign out of all the candidates for this year’s election. This is attested to by the numerous roadshows that he has undertaken, which have been widely accepted by the good people of Oyo State.

“Chief Adelabu had condemned the recourse to violence and he has called on the Oyo State Police Commissioner and the state government to ensure adequate security protection for all the candidates standing for the elections.

“We seize this opportunity to call on the Police high command to carry out a diligent investigation into the incident at Igbo Ora, the attack on Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic (PDP) at Ojoo area of Ibadan and the stoning of our candidate’s campaign train at Moniya on Monday,” he said.

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