Residents of Okitipupa in Okitipupa Local Government Area (LGA) of Ondo State, on Thursday, ran for safety as unknown thugs invaded and disrupted activities at the All Progressives Congress (APC) Secretariat.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that parts of the secretariat were destroyed by the thugs, setting party flags ablaze and tearing posters of candidates vying for chairmanship, councillorships and ward leaders at the secretariat. A witness who pleaded for anonymity told NAN that the thugs came in their numbers, besieged the secretariat, singing solidarity songs and disrupted activities as residents in the area scampered for safety. “Some of the thugs stormed the secretariat to disrupt activities and tear posters of candidates, just as many of the people scampered for safety.
“Their action is unconnected with the alleged mishandling of delegates’ lists and names submitted for Ward positions by some leaders of the party at the state level.’’ The witness said. Speaking further, the witness said that the thugs warned that there will be no peace during the forthcoming chairmanship and councillorship elections in the local government if the will of the people is not respected. “They said that until the names submitted at ward levels for the posts are restored and the voice of the people respected, peace will not reign in the forthcoming elections,’’ the witness quoted the thugs as saying.
Meanwhile, the APC Chairman, Okitipupa Local Government Area, Mr Bode Ikulala, who confirmed the incident, told NAN that the list of delegates’ were not out as at the time the incident occurred. He said that the people concerned should have registered their grievances through appropriate quarters, rather than taking matters into their hands. “I was in Akure when the incident happened and they told me that some people came to destroy things at the secretariat over an alleged change in delegates’ lists, which have yet to be released, even as we speak.
“Those people are certainly not APC members because if husband and wife have differences, for instance, and the house is destroyed, when they later settle, where will they live?’’ he asked. However, Ikulala said that the situation would be brought under control as he had already contacted the Police over the matter. The Ondo state government would be conducting its elections for chairmen and councillors in the 18 LGAs of the state in December.