The Media Committee of the Governor ‘Seyi Makinde Campaign Council has condemned the attacks on the campaign trail of the governor in Igangan, Ibarapa North local government, noting that the act of violence was perpetrated by suspected thugs of opposition parties.
The Media Committee maintained that the attacks were premeditated and orchestrated by some opposition elements, who hired street urchins to waylay the convoy of the governor, with a view to giving the governor a bad image among the teeming population of Oyo State people.
He said that the attacks were reprehensible, especially as the people of the state already know and love Governor Makinde as a man of peace.
A statement by Special Assistant (Print Media) to the governor, Moses Alao, on behalf of the Media Committee, described the attacks as unwarranted, warning opposition elements to eschew politics of bitterness and violence ahead of the general election.
The Media Committee equally condemned the false reports by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the crisis was triggered by men of the Park Management System, stating that the opposition had to resort to the falsehood because it was haunted by a guilty conscience after its failed attempt to assassinate Governor Makinde and the Oyo South PDP senatorial candidate, Chief Olasunkanmi Tegbe.
The statement read in part: “We have read different reports regarding the attacks on the convoy of our Principal, Governor ‘Seyi Makinde, by hired thugs of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in collusion with some unscrupulous elements, who tried in vain to disguise as youths of Igangan community.
“We condemn the attacks, which were clearly a failed attempt on the lives of the Governor and the Senatorial Candidate of the PDP in Oyo South, Chief Olasunkanmi Tegbe.
“But for the packaged, inhumane and false reaction of the opposition APC, which has become its best strategy to cover up its heinous tendencies as it did the same thing shortly after its thugs attacked the Accord Party governorship candidate in Tede, we would not have immediately known that it is the sponsor of the unprovoked and unwarranted attacks in Igangan.
“Now, we understand why the APC has not been campaigning; they had hatched the plan to silence the PDP by taking out the governor and other major contenders through orchestrated violence and cheap blackmail.
“However, it becomes imperative to set the records straight: The governor had finished addressing the mammoth crowd at the Igangan Town Hall and the campaign trail was heading for Tapa.
“As it has become the custom of the Governor to acknowledge the cheers and love of the people and in turn distribute souvenirs wherever he went to campaign, Governor Makinde stood in an open roof SUV while other members of the entourage were in his tow.
“Towards the exit of the town, where a road block, which we now know, was mounted by the thugs to halt the flow of traffic so that they would be able to perpetrate their dastardly act, some group of boys started demanding for money instead of the souvenirs being shared by the Governor.
“Before anyone could say Jack Robinson, they started hauling stones, while some went in search of big sticks with which they were smashing vehicles indiscriminately.
“The urchins went directly after the SUV of Chief Tegbe, which showed a clearly premeditated motive, while others kept attacking other vehicles coming behind the governor.
“The JAC Bus conveying Media Aides of the governor and journalists and many other vehicles were damaged by the hoodlums and, at some points, they graduated from hauling stones by bringing out guns and shooting at vehicles in the convoy.
“We are sure that the same hoodlums went into the streets of Igangan to commit the wanton arson and destruction, which the APC-sponsored online media outlets have been sharing to discredit the Governor.
“While we sympathise with the families of individuals affected by the crisis, it is important to point out that Governor Makinde is a man of peace and has made it clear that his ambition is not worth the blood of any Oyo State indigene.
“However, opposition elements and other individuals who think they can orchestrate violence against the Governor to gain ascendancy should have a rethink, as the people of the state have made up their minds to move forward to sustainable development under Governor Makinde.
“For the umpteenth time, we want to inform the APC bandits that no level of violence or blackmail will stop Governor Makinde’s campaign and his eventual re-election by the people of Oyo State.”