Some people suspected to be political thugs on Wednesday abducted the chairman of Afijio Local Government Area of Oyo State, Samuel Aderemi, for about two hours.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the chairman, who was one of the chairmen sacked by the state governor, Seyi Makinde, last year, was kidnapped by scores of rampaging thugs, who stormed the council in Jobele.
The thugs reportedly stormed the council secretariat in an attempt to prevent the sacked local government chairman and councilors under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from resuming their duties.
Mr Aderemi, according to reports, after being beaten to stupor by the hoodlums, was whisked away in a bus to an unknown destination. He was later rescued after two hours by security agents.
He is still recuperating at an undisclosed hospital as at the time of filing this report on Thursday.
The sacked chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, confirmed the abduction of the council boss.
Apart from the abduction of Mr Aderemi, PREMIUM TIMES learnt that violence was also recorded in some other local government areas where sacked chairmen attempted to resume, on Wednesday.
It was gathered that the arrival of security agents, comprising of the police and men of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) that halted the violence in the council areas.
APC, PDP trade blames
Mr Makinde, shortly after his inauguration in May last year, sacked the chairmen and asked them to hand over to the most senior career officer in their respective councils, after about eight months of legal battle with the state government.
The council chairmen were elected on May 12, 2018 in local government elections conducted by former governor, Abiola Ajimobi.
Trouble, however, started on Monday when the sacked chairmen and councillors make good their threat to resume into their various offices within the 68 local government and LCDA secretariats
The Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Akeem Olatunji, in his reaction, said it is the sacked chairmen who are going around, fomenting trouble.
Mr Olatunji, in a telephone conversation with PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, said the APC and the sacked chairmen are causing trouble simply because they want a state of emergency to be declared in the state.
“They are the ones going round, (attacking) people. They are going around with a member of the proscribed NURTW in the state to cause trouble. Oyo State is not the only state where local government chairmen were sacked, why will Oyo State be different? Simply because they want to use the opportunity to declare state of emergency.
“The Oyo State PDP wishes to alert the members of the public on the nefarious activities of the Oyo State Chapter of All Progressives Congress over their continuous attack on our members across the 33 local governments and 35 LCDAs in the state.
“It sounds barbaric and shameful that the police are looking the other way as APC miscreants and thugs unleash mayhems on unsuspecting members of the public. This is what has made local governments workers abstain from work, pending when their safety will be guaranteed.
“There is a Court Order obtained on Tuesday, and we believe that sanity will prevail very soon.”
Publicly Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Abdulaziz Olatunde, however, said PDP wants to take over of the councils using force.
“We have been saying that PDP have penchant for violence. The kind of legacy left behind by Ajimobi shows that the shoe is too big for them to wear. It is obvious that they want to take over of the councils with force”.
Public Relations Officer of the state Police Command, Olugbenga Fadeyi when contacted on the matter, said the police will deploy more officers to curb the excesses of criminal elements in the state.
“The Police in Oyo State is not relenting (its) efforts to carry out (its) constitutional responsibility – (the) protection of lives and property.
“Massive deployments will continue to be intensified in all troubled areas,” he said, adding that this would prevent criminal elements who are bent on disturbing the peace and tranquillity of Oyo State from doing so.