It was a sad day for the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) in Oyo as no fewer than two people died in a bloody clash between suspected political hoodlums at its campaign rally in Igboora , Ibarapa Central Local Government Area of Oyo State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the incident occurred immediately after the rally held at the old motor park in Igboora on Saturday evening.
NAN reports that the campaign train, led by Gov. Abiola Ajimobi, had commenced with a road show from Lanlate through Igboora, Idere, Ayete, Tapa and Igangan before the ralies at Igboora, Eruwa and Omi-Adio.
It was a peaceful rally which saw the governor and the party’s governorship candidate, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, acknowledging cheers from supporters who had thronged the streets to show solidarity for the party.
Trouble, however, started immediately after the rally in Igboora as suspected political hoodlums engaged in a bloody clash which left one dead.
NAN reports that another innocent resident, identified to be a younger brother to an APC leader in the community, was hit by a stray bullet and he eventually gave up the ghost.
Eyewitnesses told NAN that some suspected hoodlums had accosted the APC governorship candidate to demand for money but were blocked by another group of hoodlums.
This, witnesses said, resulted in heated arguments which later led to the free for all.
The incident had since resulted in counter allegations and reactions from political parties and residents.
While the APC accused opposition parties of being behind the mayhem, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) asked APC to look inwards for the perpetrators.
“Guns were freely displayed by thugs alleged to have been arranged and sponsored by the PDP and some other parties to carry out the dastardly act.
“The mayhem eventually cost two lives. One of which is a younger brother to the leader of our party, Alhaji Olayide Abas. We hereby charge security agencies to investigate and unravel the killers of the deceased.
“It is important to note that the PDP has continually incited the people to cause trouble, having realised that the game is over. The PDP is among the parties that masterminded the mayhem,” APC Communication team said in a statement.
Some opposition party members, who spoke to NAN, described the incident as very pathetic, saying the APC should investigate themselves on the mayhem.
They said that several other opposition parties in the state had visited the community to campaign without violence or bloodshed.
Also, some residents of the community frowned at the sorrowful incident, describing it as a return of thuggery and brigandage to the state.
They told NAN that the people of the community were not desperate people and have always lived peacefully with each other, irrespective of political affiliations.
Spokesman for Oyo State Police Command, SP Adekunle Ajisebutu, did not respond to NAN calls and text messages at the time of filing this report.