Soldiers and policemen were deployed in some major towns in Ogun State yesterday as armed thugs went on the rampage over the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in the state.
The development came as hoodlums attacked the constituency office of the Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, located in Ifo area of the state.
The rampaging thugs, numbering over 100, allegedly attacked Oluomo’s supporters and vandalised the lawmaker’s office as well as his free school buses parked in the area.
The attack seemed to be a continuation of the violence that broke out on Monday night when gun-wielding thugs disrupted the meeting between APC governorship primary election committee and gubernatorial aspirants in the state.
The meeting, which held at the MITROS residences, Ibara GRA, Abeokuta, came to an abrupt end following sporadic gunshots by hoodlums at the venue.
The aspirants, including Senator Adegbenga Kaka, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, Hon. Abayomi Hunye, Otunba Jimi Lawal and Hon. Adekunle Akinlade, hurriedly left the place.
Speaking with our correspondent on phone, Oluomo, representing Ifo I state constituency, confirmed the attack on his office.
The deputy speaker, who was said to have fallen out with the camp of Governor Ibikunle Amosun, however, said he was lucky to escape death by a whisker.
He said: “Over 100 hoodlums stormed my constituency office this (yesterday) afternoon, wounded party members that are with me and destroyed my office and my free school buses.
“They are still milling around my office and the town as I speak now saying let Oluomo come out now and we will teach him a lesson of how not to disobey “Oga” on consensus.”
Oluomo later told our correspondent that policemen had taken him into protective custody apparently to forestall violence.
“Policemen have taken me out of the office now, taking me to Sango Area Command of the Police for protection, they say,” he stated in a text message.
New Telegraph also reliably gathered that men of the Nigerian Army were drafted to quell the violence in Ifo and restore normalcy to the area.
In Abeokuta, a detachment of policemen with armoured personnel carrier embarked on show of force in various parts of the state capital apparently to warn trouble makers.
At the Ibara GRA residence of a former governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, unknown persons were said to have inscribed abusive graffiti on the wall, which read, “Politically, RIP Osoba.”
The ex-governor could not be reached for comments on the development.
Meanwhile, primary and secondary schools were closed down yesterday across the state as uncertainty continued to trail the governorship primary election.
The state Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, in a statement, said all schools would remain closed on Tuesday October 2, 2018 in order to accommodate the gubernatorial primaries.
Despite no directive from the national headquarters of the party, the primary election held in some parts of the state with APC members trooping out to participate in the exercise.
Though the Muhammad Indabawa-led election committee failed to conduct the exercise, the party members posted various results recorded across the wards.
Our correspondent, however, gathered that barring unforeseen circumstances, the gubernatorial primary election would hold today throughout the state.
On Monday night, journalists had to scamper to safety when suspected thugs invaded the venue of a meeting between the election committee members and six governorship aspirants.
The meeting was said to have been summoned by the committee to discuss modalities with aspirants ahead of the planned direct primaries of the party.
The committee members had a brief discussion with reporters after which they went into a closed-door session with the governorship aspirants and state executives of the party.
While the meeting was ongoing within the hall, some suspected rival thugs who allegedly came with two of the governorship aspirants engaged in a clash outside.
After some minutes, policemen whisked away one of the troublemakers and it appeared peace had been restored.
But the whole place suddenly turned to a theatre of war at about 11:30p.m., when another set of suspected thugs stormed the venue and shot into the crowd outside.
Several gunshots that later followed forced the meeting to end abruptly while some journalists sustained injuries in their bid to escape from the scene.
Speaking before violence erupted, the election committee chairman, Indabawa, attributed the delay in conduct of the primaries to logistics reasons.
He, however, stated that necessary materials for the conduct of the exercise have been handed over to the panel.
The chairman assured that a level playing field would be provided to all aspirants during the primaries.