Dayo Johnson – Akure
Scores were injured in a bloody clash between supporters of the ruling All Progressive Congress and African Democratic Congress in Ondo town, Ondo state.
Vanguard gathered that those who sustained various degrees of injuries in the clash have been taken to private hospitals for medical attention.
No fewer than 15 vehicles were reportedly vandalised during the clash as their windscreens were smashed.
The report had it that a similar attack took place in the oil-rich ilaje council area of the state where members of the ruling All Progressives Congress were allegedly attacked by political thugs.
Recall that the state independent Electoral Commission ODIEC had a fixed council election for today across the 18 council areas of the state.
The state Independent National Electoral Commission ODIEC had fixed the council election for today with ten political parties participating.
Leaders of the main political parties, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Zenith Labour Party have said they are not interested in participating in the election.
They insisted that participating in the election was like legitimising the poll.
A police source said that the clashes were caused as the political parties tried to outshine the other as they round off their campaigns ahead of today’s polls.
Reacting, the state Chairman of the APC, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, said it was members of the ADC that attacked APC who was campaigning in the area.
Adetimehin who described the ADC as an alarmist party said the party was yet to get over harvest of its chieftains into the APC.
He said he had advised APC members not to retaliate any attacks but to report at the nearest police station.
The State Publicity Secretary of the APC for APC, Alex Kalejaiye, said he could not ascertain the particular political party that masterminded the attack in Ilaje.
“I cannot mention the group that attacked our supporters in Ilaje, but what I know is that we do not support violence in the process,”
“I hope this is not a prelude to the coming governorship election and we are calling on the security agencies to take charge and fish out the perpetrators.”
Also reacting on behalf of the ADC, its governorship Candidate, Prince Adedapo Adelegan in a statement said,“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this vicious attack on electorates at this critical time in Ondo State. It is against humanity to deny people from expressing their rights to promote their party and preferred candidate for an office.
“This attack on Ondo State electorates, no matter which party they belong, is highly unacceptable under any circumstances. Therefore, I appeal to party leaders of all contesting parties in Ondo State to call their members to order and allow peace to reign.
“I also appeal to the Executive Governor Akeredolu as the Chief Security Officer of our State, to ensure the reign of peace and tranquillity at this period.”
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Adelegan added that “the Africa Democratic Congress offers it deepest condolences to all the families and communities affected by these senseless acts and calls for greater effort to protect citizens and electorates for the Chairman and counsellor election process tomorrow and the upcoming Governorship election in October
Contacted the state police command spokesperson, Tee Leo-Ikoro confirmed the clashes adding that many people were injured in the ugly incident.
Ikoro said security operatives have been deployed to the scene of the incidents while efforts were on to arrest the perpetrators.
“We are yet to ascertain the root cause of the clash, because so many people were injured,”
The police spokesperson said “We have commenced an investigation into the matter to know those involved and why the clash happened.