The Presidential rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, ended abruptly as scores of political thugs chanting the slogan of a rival political party and its governorship candidate, who had seized the main bowl of the stadium, pelted dignitaries, including President Muhammadu Buhari, with stones.
The President who arrived the stadium around 3 pm in company of the Vice – President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, the National leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, former Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Chief Segun Osoba, the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun, hurriedly raised the hand of Abiodun shortly after he had addressed the rally briefly and was whisked away immediately.
Trouble began when Oshiomhole took the microphone and announced that they were in the state for the presidential campaign and to also give Dapo Abiodun the emblem of the party as the governorship candidate, a pronouncement which was what the assembled thugs were waiting for, to commence another round of hurling of stones and other objects at the APC leaders and dignitaries.
There was chaos and apprehension everywhere as people scampered for safety while the daring thugs equally sympathetic to Governor Amosun held people in terror, and refused to be calmed when he pleaded with them not to “disgrace” him any further.
Earlier before the arrival of Buhari and others scores of the hoodlums who had continued sing the slogan of a rival opposition governorship candidate and his party sacked supporters of the Prince Dapo Abiodun, the governorship candidate of APC, from the stadium.
Other APC members and supporters seated and awaiting the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari were also chased away as the thugs hurled stones, shoes and other dangerous weapons at them.
Many were injured in the sustained attacks, forcing thousands of people to leave the stadium while the President was yet to arrive.
The attacks began few minutes to 1:0’clock and peaked about an 45 minutes later and within 10 minutes, all the seats and positions occupied by Dapo Abiodun supporters and others APC members were deserted as stones and objects hurled by the hoodlums, fell on them in torrents.
Some of the hoodlums were overheard brazenly boasting that “this is Ogun and nobody can intimidate us” even as they kept throwing stones at the fleeing APC members and supporters of Abiodun.
It was a pathetic sight watching elderly men and women supporters labouring to scale the stadium fence in desperate bids to escape the multi-pronged attacks, many alleged was sponsored by Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
Outside the stadium, gunshots rang out repeatedly, as dozens of armed soldiers and other security agencies battled to prevent the entry of another batch of hoodlums, who were allegedly hurried to the venue to reinforce their colleagues who had seized the main bowl of the stadium.
Many were appalled that the Fuji musician called to entertain at the occasion, prodded the hoodlums on with inciting lyrics while security agents within the stadium and who ought to ensure orderliness at the venue, acted as though they were on holiday.
There was palpable concern over the safety of the APC chieftains such as Senator Gbenga Kaka, Abiodun’s running mate, Noimot Oyedele – Salako, Chief Tolu Odebiyi and others, with many wondering if they were able to leave the stadium unscathed.
Senator Gbenga Kaka accused the security agencies of not being professional in the discharge of their duties, saying they looked the other way while their people were under heavy attack by political thugs.
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