Pandemonium broke out at the All Progressives Congress (APC) secretariat in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital, after gunshots believed to be accidental discharge hit a former federal lawmaker, Opeyemi Bamidele and two other unknown persons.
The incident, it was gathered, occurred when leaders and members of the APC received its governorship candidate, Kayode Fayemi, who returned to the state today.
However, activities at the party’s secretariat were disrupted when sound of gunshots filled the air, leaving Fayemi, APC leaders and members to run in different directions for safety.
According to an eye witness, the APC secretariat was thrown into confusion after shots were fired from the weapon of a Mobile Policeman attached to one of the VIPs, throwing the place into rowdiness.
Within minutes of the gunshots believed to be accidentally discharged, the party secretariat located around Ajilosun area of the state capital became deserted. Shop owners and residents also quickly shot their doors to avert any been hit by the shots.
By the time the dust of the incident settled, Bamidele, a chieftain of APC and two others, were found to have been hit by gunshots and rushed to a hospital for treatment.
Enraged by the incident, some youths sympathetic to Bamidele, it was learnt, surged on the Mobile Policeman and it took the intervention of other security operatives from rescuing him from their attacks.
At about 8:30pm, Bamidele was reported to have been stabilized and getting necessary medical attention.
Reacting to the incident, APC in a statement signed by its spokesman in Ekiti state, Taiwo Olatunbosun, fingered the state government of masterminding the attack, saying its party governorship candidate, Kayode Fayemi was targeted for assassination.
Olatunbosun who ruled out accidental discharge as the cause of the shooting, pointed out that the Mobile Policeman was positioned by perceived opposition to carry out the attack.
“One of the assailants dressed in mobile police uniform was apprehended and he is now helping the police in their investigation,” Olatunbosun noted.
“They fired gunshots aimed at Fayemi but hit a former lawmaker, Opeyemi Bamidele, after the former minister had taken a few steps forward before the bullets hit the target.”
Apart from Bamidele, the APC listed Olabode Joshua, Olanrewaju Gbenga, Adedayo Ogunjemilehin, Ogunmodede Oluwole and Alex Adeyeye, as victims of the attack.
But dismissing APC accusation, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship campaign organisation, blamed the attack on overzealous security aide of Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who followed former Ekiti state governor, Kayode Fayemi, into Ekiti state on Friday.
In the statement signed by Lere Olayinka, the spokesman of Olusola Eleka’s campaign, accused the APC of returning bloodshed to Ekiti after years of peace enthroned by Governor Ayodele Fayose, declaring that the people will resist the “APC agents of bloodshed”.
“Akeredolu (Rotimi) led the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi to Ekiti in a shoe of federal might and in the process, seven people were hit by police bullets,” Olayinka said.
“At the APC secretariat, one of the mobile policeman, was said to be using his gun to push away thugs brought from Ondo State and the hoodlums in turn dragged the gun with him, leading to sporadic shootings that left six persons shot,” he added.
Speaking on the incident, the Police confirmed that the mobile policeman belong to the force but noted that he absconded his duty post to carryout illegal task in Ekiti state.
Caleb Ikechukwu, the spokesman of Ekiti police command, also disclosed that a politician who is believed to be behind the shooting has been arrested and going through questioning.
“At about 17:00 hours, a policeman who accidentally shot Opeyemi Bamidele and one other has been arrested. The policeman is in our custody now,” he said.
“He is attached to 20 police mobile force (PMF) in Ikeja Lagos. He left where he was posted on bank guard duty somewhere in Ikeja for illegal duty in Ekiti state.
“A politician conspired with the policeman and removed him from where he was posted in Lagos and both came to Ekiti for unofficial reasons. The politician has also been arrested.
“The victims of the accidental discharge are currently responding to treatment at hospital, and the policeman who was mobbed is also responding to treatment in our protective custody,” PPRO said.