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Aregbesola, Oyetola camps trade blame as gunmen attack factional APC meeting

SUPPORTERS of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and those of the Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola on Thursday traded blame after gunmen attacked a factional All Progressive Congress meeting.

Trouble started when members of The Osun Progressives, a group within the Osun State chapter of the APC, were holding a meeting and had to scamper for safety following sporadic gun shots by suspected thugs.

The incident occurred at Oranmiyan House, Gbongan Road, Osogbo, which was being used by members of TOP for their weekly meeting at about 2:10pm.

The sound of gunfire led to panic which forced several business owners to close shop while commercial motorcyclists equally fled the scene for the period the shooting lasted.

In footage of the incident obtained by our correspondent, a black Sienna Sports Utility Vehicle arrived at the area around 2:09pm, three armed occupants shot several rounds of ammunition into the air while heading towards the main entrance of the building where the meeting was being held.

It was further learnt that many panic-stricken members of the TOP, ran into the building for safety.

However, the factional State APC chairman, Razaq Salinsile, reportedly walked up to the gunmen and stopped them from advancing into the building.

The three-armed men were seen going into the same vehicle which drove towards Ogo Oluwa Area, while they were shooting into the air.

Addressing newsmen after the incident, chairman of TOP, Lowo Adebiyi, alleged that the hoodlums were sponsored by Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola

Adebiyi said, “The thugs believed to have been sent by the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola’s led Ileri Oluwa 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 ground. Because of the absence of the NSCDC officers, the Ileri Oluwa group sent thugs to attack us.”

He appealed to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to order an investigation into the incident in order to bring culprits to book.

Reacting to the allegations in a statement, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Ismail Omipidan, dissociated the governor from the incident.

The statement read in part, “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 an 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.”

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