Rampaging youth on Wednesday attacked the Akure Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and set the edifice ablaze.
The #EndSARS protesters had, in defiance of the 24-hour curfew imposed by the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, mounted roadblocks across the streets of Akure, the Ondo State capital on Wednesday morning.
The curfew took effect from 12 midnight on Wednesday.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the youth were angry that policemen shot at them while protesting at Road Bloc area of the city.
It was learnt that the youth then marched to the APC secretariat located at Oyemekun Road, by Cathedral and attacked the building, setting it on fire.
Some properties belonging to APC chieftains along Oyemekun road were also affected.
Some of the youth also mounted barricades along roads leading into and out of major towns bordering the Akure metropolis, such as Oba Ile, Oda, Ijoka and other areas.
Reacting to the incident, the APC said thugs apparently sponsored by the Peoples Democratic Party attacked the residence of its state Chairman, Ade Adetimehin.
The Publicity Secretary of the Party, Alex Kalejaiye, said when the youth could not get Mr Adetimehin due to the intervention of a team of policemen from Elerinla Police station, the thugs headed straight to the APC secretariat and set it ablaze.
Mr Kalejaiye said the thugs were chanting “power to the people” while carrying out the act.
“The Ondo APC is stunned that a legitimate protest by youths could be employed to achieve political vendetta by setting the party’s secretariat on fire,” he said.
“It is sad to note that the People’s Democratic Party, could go this far to perpetuate what it could not achieve during the just concluded gubernatorial election in Ondo State.
“The APC has it on good authority that the PDP has also perfected plans to target leaders of the APC that are either of Akure origin, or based in the capital city for attacks in the next couple of days.
“The fact that the APC always prefer to err on the side of caution should not be mistaken for cowardice. The party has the followers and capability to contain such excesses from any aggressive party.
“We, therefore, call on security agencies to wade in, and stop this senseless cruelty that is being unleashed by a political group. Members of the public, and indeed, APC leaders deserve protection. This is the only way to avert self-help.
“The APC identifies with sincere and genuine agitation for a better Nigeria, but quick to add that what is happening in Akure is no longer a protest to end SARS, but a political aggression, resulting from electoral defeat.”
READ ALSO: #EndSARS protest has ‘hidden agenda’ – APC
But the PDP has denied the allegation, saying it was uncharitable for the APC to accuse the PDP of the activities of thugs who set the APC Secretariat on fire in Akure.
“Our nation is going through a very traumatic period, requiring sobriety and prayers of all well meaning Nigerians,” said a statement by the PDP Publicity Secretary, Kennedy Peretei.
“In the last twenty four hours, several Police Stations, Public Buildings, Banks and private buildings have been razed down by hoodlums who have taken advantage of the on going EndSars protests. Even the Palace of the Oba of Lagos was attacked.
“How on earth can anyone attribute such dastardly acts to PDP, a party that presided over the affairs of Nigeria for sixteen unbroken years. Years we all remember now with nolstagia. Years of peace, prosperity and abundance. We now live in fear, anxiety, uncertainty and total hopelessness. Nobody should draw the PDP into how the APC has steadily led us to where we are now as a nation.
“The PDP wishes to advise President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, arrest the drift, violence and gloom that have enveloped our nation instead of looking for who to blame.”