There was palpable fear at Thursday’s meeting of The Osun Progressives, a caucus of the All Progressives Congress in the state backed by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, following sporadic shooting by suspected thugs.
The incident happened at Oranmiyan House, Gbongan Road, Osogbo, which is also being used by Aregbesola’s faction of APC, at the time TOP members were holding their weekly meeting around 2.10pm.
The incident, which led to panic in the area, made some roadside business operators and commercial motorcyclists flee while the shooting lasted.In the footage of the incident obtained by our correspondent, a black Sienna Bus had arrived the area around 2.09pm.
Three occupants of the vehicle bearing guns, after alighting, fired shots into the air and moved towards the entrance to the building.It was further learnt that many members of the TOP had to run into the building.But the factional APC chairman in the state, Razaq Salinsile, reportedly walked up to the gunmen and stopped them from further advancing into the building.
Also in the video obtained, the men later returned to their vehicle and drove towards Ogo Oluwa Area, firing into the air.
Addressing newsmen after the incident, the chairman of TOP, Lowo Adebiyi, alleged that the hoodlums that attacked the meeting were sponsored by Osun State governor, Adegboyega Oyetola.
Adebiyi then called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and leaders of security agencies to ensure the attack was investigated with a view to bringing to book the perpetrators.
He said, “The thugs believed to have been sent by the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola’s led IleriOluwa faction of the party invaded the weekly meeting of TOP around 2.10pm today. I was just addressing the caucus when the thugs started shooting. This led to a stampede as APC members scampered for safety. Luckily for us, there were no major casualties as members ran into the main building for safety.
“But some of our people were wounded. We need to state that officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps who usually provide security for the weekly meeting were not on the ground. Because of the absence of the NSCDC officers, the IleriOluwa group sent thugs to attack us.”
Reacting to the allegations in a statement, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Ismail Omipidan, said his principal is not violent and accused the factional APC chairman, Salinsile, of meeting one of the attackers before the incident.
The statement partly read, “My Principal is not a violent man and will never support any violence in whatever form. I strongly urge our former governor and current Interior Minister, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to disown Adebiyi before he rubbishes his good office.
“If by his admission, he is saying personnel of NSCDC had always provided security cover for them, on whose authority were they doing it then and who ordered their withdrawal today?
“We want the concerned security agencies in the state to watch Adebiyi closely, as he appears to be up to something sinister.
“Finally, I have intelligence report that Abdulrasaq Salinsile, the former APC Secretary in the State, met with one of those that were alleged to have carried out today’s attack. I want to believe they are acting out a script already prepared by them.”