The immediate past Commissioner for Works and Transport in Osun State, Mr. Remi Omowaye has recently come under attacks from political thugs who are yet to apprehend by the police.
Omowaiye was allegedly first attacked on December 23, 2022, at Ishida market, Ilesa when he went there to give the market leaders their Christmas gift.
According to the former commissioner, some political thugs believed to be working for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, attacked him and his aids, with about six people sustaining injuries and two cars damaged.
Speaking with newsmen after that attack, Omowaye said he heard one of the thugs saying they were acting on the instruction of the state governor, adding that the thugs were led by a person called Bayo Landlord.
His words; “The usual practice is that every year for the last 10 years, I give people things festivals, particularly Christmas and New Year. Specifically, in the last four years, I go to the two major spare markets to give them things for Christmas.
“As the usual practice, this year, I spoke with the leadership of the Igbala and Ishida market that I was coming with the regular Christmas gift. I left my office at about 5 pm and we went to Gbala market where I gave them 2 cows and bags of rice.
“I left there and went to Ishida market, when I got there, I gave them the cow and bags of rice and it was during that process we saw some PDP thugs coming from different angles and started throwing stones and bottles. Before we know it, they stabbed one of our youth leaders and one other boy named Tosin.
“Then, we started hearing gunshots and everyone scrambled for safety. In the process, my security men tried to move me into the vehicle. I was in a Venza and they smashed the windscreen of the Venza.
“My Highlander was riddled with bullets and the screens badly damaged. So, we had to just scramble for safety. We went straight to the police station because we saw that a lot of people have been injured and we didn’t want to take the laws into our hands.
“I heard one of the voices saying they are acting on the instruction of the governor. So, the governor should face governance and stop attacking us. We have an election in February and I know what they want to do is to intimidate a lot of us to leave the State and we are not going to do that.
“If anything should happen to us, Governor Adeleke should be held responsible. About six people sustained various levels of injuries but no life was lost. Two cars were damaged.
“Those PDP thugs were led by the person called Bayo Landlord. They were known PDP thugs but the thing is, we did not go to meet them. It was a festive season and we didn’t go for campaign. So, why would you attack and shoot at us”.
But in a swift reaction, the PDP director of media, Oladele Bamiji, described Omowaye as an attention seeker who as no importance, adding that he had already exhausted his goodwill in Ijesa land.
Bamiji said the governor is a father to all who will not stoop low to attack someone who is no longer relevant.
According to him, “With the way Nigerian political thugs operate, do you think somebody just comes out and says ‘I’m acting on the instruction of the governor and I’m here to attack you on behalf of the governor ‘?
“That is too petty and it’s coming from someone who found himself in a position of privilege and that has been the way he operates.
“To me, he knows he has exhausted all his goodwill in Ijesaland. Before the last gubernatorial election, he was terrorizing people with thugs in Ilesa, and perhaps, he is conscious of possible repercussions. I understand he has not stepped foot in Ilesa since his party lost that election.
“The information I got was that yesterday, he surrounded himself with police and thugs and think he should go to Ilesa and show people he has not run away and he felt the only way to announce himself was to start shooting sporadically, especially, while traders were holding their meeting at the market.
“Why would the government send people to attack him? The election has gone and do you think the governor will stoop low to send people to attack Omowaiye? Who is he that will he will be attacked?
“If he is attaching any importance to himself, I think that is his arrogance and pride. Nobody is attaching any importance to him”.
Similarly, another attack was launched at the campaign office of Omowaye, in llesa in the early hours of Sunday.
In the pictures obtained from the scene, the main door to the office, glass windows, billboards and APC flags were damaged during the attack.
Speaking after inspecting the scene, Omowaiye, again, said the PDP-led government was behind the incident and called on the Inspector General of Police and heads of other security agencies to arrest the situation before it gets out of control.
But the PDP denied its involvement in the attack. The Caretaker Chairman of the party, Dr. Akindele Adekunle, said those behind the attacks must have been hoodlums hired by the APC for the July 16 governorship poll that the party had refused to settle after the poll.
Adekunle, in a statement obtained in Osogbo, also said the PDP was not behind the attack, as the party was busy with 100 days activities of the new administration.
“We are shocked by all these rumours of attacks. What we heard is that after the arrest of Asiri Eniba and Rasheed Oko Ilu during the July 16 polls, Mr Oyetola and his team abandoned their recruited gangs.
“After the election, we were told nobody cared about the bad boys who were nurtured by them for four years,” he claimed.
It has been a different story from the two sides but OsunDaily gathered that the attacks did not start after the July 16 election where Senator Ademola Adeleke, emerged the winner.
The medium gathered that the attack have been happening between the two political parties before the last gubernatorial candidate election with each side counting their losses.
The police and other security agencies have to rise and protect the people of Ijesaland before the attacks turn into another security threat according to a resident.
Also, the two parties should call their people to sheath their swords in the interest of the state.