By Kolade larewaju
Preparations for 2011 general elections started yesterday on a scary note in Ogun State as a presidential campaign bus of President Goodluck Jonathan allocated for the state was allegedly seized with some arms and ammunition.
The bus, said to have been allocated to the Government Liaison Officer in Ijebu North Local Government, was as at the time of this report being detained at the Police Station in Ijebu-Igbo while investigation was said to be on.
Rumours of the arrest of the bus with a large cache of arms became rife in Abeokuta, throwing fear into the people until the state Police Command Public Relations Officer, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, in swift reaction, said a search on the bus only revealed one Pump Action gun and seven cartridges which has been traced to its owner, identified as Otunba Leke Adekoya.
The police image-maker explained that the gun found inside the bus was licensed and that the Commissioner of Police has equally ordered the owner to report at the Eleweran Police Headquarters for further interrogation.
He said the driver of the vehicle was beaten up by those who earlier arrested him, before the bus was taken to Ijebu-Igbo police station, adding that the driver sustained injuries and is presently hospitalised.
Adejobi, who denied that any large quantity of ammunition was found in the bus as being rumored, noted that the Police Commissioner had directed that the bus be transferred to the headquarters for further investigation.
Narrating how the bus was apprehended, the Police spokesman said that some boys had reported to the police that they suspected ammunitions loaded in the bus and took the bus to the station.
According to him, in view of this, the commissioner instructed the Divisional Area Commander in the presence of other security operatives to search the vehicle.
He said: “On searching the bus, it was one pump action and seven cartridges that were found in the bus, and this was found to be licensed and the owner is one Otunba Adekoya. It is not true that large quantity of guns and ammunition were found inside the bus.
“The Commissioner of Police ordered search of the vehicle in the presence of other security operatives including State Security Services, and let me also add this: there were no election materials found as being rumored.”
Likely source of ‘rumour’
Vanguard gathered that the development may not be unconnected with the current crisis within Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with one group allegedly trying to give the other a bad name in the struggle for the control of the party.