An All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, Bayo Babalotin, has given an account of how he narrowly escaped being killed by gunmen on Tuesday evening.
He told journalists in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday that the attack took place at about 6.30 p.m. on the outskirts of Erio-Ekiti in Ekiti West Local Government Area, not far from a police checkpoint.
Mr. Babalotin said he was travelling to Ibadan, the Oyo State capital in his Nissan Pathfinder SUV when three armed men emerged from the bush and opened fire on him.
He said the police officers at the nearby checkpoint fled during the attack only to return after the gunmen had left.
According to him, his attackers were in police uniforms and bullet-proof vests, adding that he suspected assassination attempt.
Mr. Babalotin further revealed that a Toyota Tundra pick-up van had trailed him from Iyin-Ekiti before he reached the spot where he was attacked.
“The attack happened immediately after the police checkpoint on the outskirts of Erio,” he explained. “As I was trying to reverse the vehicle, three more members of the gang, all of them wielding AK-47 rifles came out and they were shooting simultaneously.
“My Nissan Pathfinder jeep was shattered with bullets, the body, the windscreen and tyres. The vehicle was abandoned at the scene and my brother and I ran into the forest where we hid for about 30 minutes.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Alberto Adeyemi, who confirmed the attack on the politician when PREMIUM TIMES called him on the telephone, said it was a robbery attack. He said police officers were mobilised to the area while the robbers fled.
He noted that Erio-Ekiti had become the gateway for kidnappers and armed robbers in the state, resulting in increased police surveillance in the area.
“I spoke to the DPO in the area and he confirmed that there was a robbery attack yesterday (Tuesday) evening and the robbers shot at one Nissan jeep driven by one Babalotin,” Mr. Adeyemi said.
“As soon as the police heard the gunshots, they immediately mobilised to the area, and the robbers fled.”
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