BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The People’s Democratic Party in Osun State has accused an ex-spokesperson of the Senate, Ajibola Basiru of mobilising thugs to the Osogbo Eid praying ground on Wednesday ahead of the arrival of Governor Ademola Adeleke.
The party said the heavily mobilised thugs took over strategic locations at the praying ground “in a bid to launch an assassination attack on the innocent governor, whose sole mission was to worship alongside other Muslim faithful in the state capital to commemorate 2023 Eid-el Kabir.”
A statement by the chairman of the party, Sunday Bisi, cautioned Basiru and advised him to refrain from acts that could destabilise the peace of the state.
According to the statement, the governor’s sole aim at the venue was to observe the Eid prayers just like every other Muslim faithful.
The statement read in part, “Let it be on record for the sake of emphasis that Governor Adeleke took all rigours to make the Eid prayer rites after a previously hectic day in Lagos, without premonition of Basiru’s orchestrated plot to harm the free-minded leader of the state.”
In a counter statement signed by Tajudeen Lawal, the Osun APC chairman alleged that it was Adeleke who brought hoodlums to the venue of the prayers, adding that the governor’s advanced party and protocol unit had stormed the premises, ordering one Muniru Badmus and Basiru to vacate where they were already seated, claiming that it was the governor’s reserved seat.
The statement read, “It was an attempt to forcefully remove Alhaji Badmus and Senator Bashiru from their seats at the praying ground and subsequent executive order by Governor Adeleke to the police to effect the arrest of the duo, which degenerated into the confusion that engulfed the scene.
“It was also gathered that the governor, who left the scene before the beginning of the Eid-El-Kabir prayers session issued an order to close the gate of the entrance of the praying ground in order to effect the arrest of Alhaji Badmus and Bashiru,” Lawal said.
Meanwhile, Governor Adeleke has called for calm, urging everyone to maintain law and order, adding that he is safe and well.
A statement by the spokesperson to the governor, Olawale Rasheed, said the state police commissioner has been directed to arrest those behind the attack.
The statement reads in part, “My good people of Osun, I appeal for calm and urge us to continue to celebrate the Sallah festival in peace. I am safe by the special grace of God.
“I have directed security agencies to arrest those behind the incident and get them to face the wrath of the law. The Commissioner of Police has been directed to arrest those involved, no matter how highly placed.”
The statement also revealed that Governor Adeleke eventually left the praying ground for fear of his safety.
“The government particularly notes with shock and surprise the role played by former Senator Ajibola Bashiru, who took over the space reserved for the Governor at the prayer ground. All efforts to get the former Senator to vacate the space proved abortive. PDP members who agitated for respect for the office of the Governor were beaten up. It was a scene of chaos by the time the Governor arrived for the prayer.
“The government was even more shocked that thugs armed to the teeth were spotted all over the praying ground with security information that they were imported to eliminate the governor and key government functionaries. The governor, who arrived at the venue hoping to observe the Eid prayers, was practically surrounded by armed thugs, prompting security men to ferry the Governor into his jeep.
“For the second time, the Governor attempted to enter the praying field but the encirclement by armed thugs was already visible. It was at that point that the Governor had to leave the praying ground”, the statement added.