Hood­lums dis­rupt Osun cross­over party, gov fer­ried to safety

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE - Bola Bamigbola, Osogbo

GOVER­NOR Adeg­boyega Oyetola of Osun State and some mem­bers of his cabi­net were hur­riedly fer­ried out of the cross­over party to her­ald year 2020 or­gan­ised by the state gov­ern­ment when sus­pected thugs dis­rupted the event in the early hours of Wed­nes­day.

The event, which was held at the Nel­son Man­dela Free­dom Park, Osogbo, ended abruptly some min­utes to 1am, when some hood­lums started throw­ing stones to­wards the di­rec­tion of dig­ni­taries in­clud­ing the gover­nor, his wife, Kafayat Oyetola, and Chief of Staff to the Gover­nor, Dr Charles Aki­nola.

One per­son, whose name could not be as­cer­tained as of the time of fil­ing this re­port, was said to have been ar­rested by se­cu­rity agents in con­nec­tion with the at­tack.

Other dig­ni­taries at the event were the state chair­man of the APC, Gboyega Famoodun; Sec­re­tary to the State Gov­ern­ment, Wole Oye­bamiji, and the Com­mis­sioner for Spe­cial Du­ties and Re­gional In­te­gra­tion, Lekan Bad­mus.

Be­fore the event was dis­rupted, there were mu­si­cal per­for­mances by var­i­ous artistes and pre­sen­ta­tion of gifts.

But the pro­gramme was dis­rupted when some peo­ple, sus­pected to be po­lit­i­cal thugs, sud­denly started hurl­ing stones in the di­rec­tion of Oyetola and other dig­ni­taries.

An eye­wit­ness sim­ply iden­ti­fied as Kazeem, told our correspond­ent that some men bear­ing weapons were seen en­ter­ing the venue of the party some min­utes to 1am.

He said, “Gover­nor Oyetola had al­ready ad­dressed the gath­er­ing and per­form­ers had come on stage to en­ter­tain the peo­ple. But few min­utes to 1am, some men bear­ing weapons were seen en­ter­ing the venue. Be­fore long, they started throw­ing stones at the di­rec­tion where dig­ni­taries that at­tended the event were sit­ting.

“When the ston­ing be­came in­tense, op­er­a­tives of the Depart­ment of State Ser­vices had to fire sev­eral shots into the air to dis­perse the crowd and move the gover­nor and other dig­ni­taries out of the venue. I had to run to­wards Olaiya Junc­tion be­fore I even­tu­ally saw a com­mer­cial mo­tor­cy­clist that took me out of the area.”

It was also learnt that a sus­pect was ar­rested by the DSS op­er­a­tives at the scene in con­nec­tion with the at­tack as se­cu­rity agen­cies in the state were said to have launched probe into the mat­ter.

When con­tacted, the Chief Press Sec­re­tary to the Gover­nor, Is­mail Omip­i­dan, said the gover­nor was not at­tacked.

He said what was be­ing re­garded as an at­tack on Oyetola, was ac­tu­ally a clash be­tween two ri­val groups out­side the venue of the event.

The CPS stated, “It was not an at­tack on the gover­nor and mem­bers of his cabi­net. Dur­ing fes­tiv­i­ties, there is al­ways ex­u­ber­ance by the youth. Two groups were fight­ing out­side where we were hold­ing our pro­gramme.

“If it were to be an at­tack on the gover­nor, I am sure by now, we would have heard that the gover­nor’s se­cu­rity men shot two or three peo­ple in an at­tempt to res­cue their prin­ci­pal.

“So, it was just some mis­cre­ants who were fight­ing out­side where we were hold­ing our cross­over party. Im­me­di­ately af­ter we left the venue yesterday (Wed­nes­day), we still went to the An­sarudeen Mosque, Sabo, where a prayer was be­ing held to usher in the New Year.”

An As­sis­tant Direc­tor of Op­er­a­tions, DSS, Osun Com­mand, in an in­ter­view with our correspond­ent, said all en­quiries into the mat­ter should be di­rected to the Chief Se­cu­rity Of­fi­cer to the gover­nor.

•Oyetola

•L-R: Apex Nurse/as­sis­tant Direc­tor, Nurs­ing, La­gos Is­land Ma­ter­nity Hospi­tal, Mrs Oluwabusay­o Cole; mother of the First Baby of the Year at the hospi­tal, Mrs Mary Mo­moh; her hus­band, Mr Ab­du­lyekini Mo­moh; Com­mer­cial Direc­tor, Vitafoam Nige­ria Plc, Mr Bamidele Owoade; Med­i­cal Direc­tor/chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, LIMH, Dr Olufemi Omololu; and Head of Ad­min and Hu­man Re­sources, LIMH, Ms Sessi Ade­do­tun, dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion of gift items to the First Baby of the Year 2020 at the hospi­tal by Vitafoam in La­gos… on Wed­nes­day. Photo: Stan­ley Ogidi

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