From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu and a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Ogun State, Segun Seriki, have engaged in a blame game over the death of a party stalwart, who was shot dead at Ota during the week.
The party stalwart simply identified as Mojeed, was said to have been shot during a melee which ensued after suspected hoodlums attacked the convoy of Adebutu while on solidarity visit to party members in the area.
The lawmaker, representing Remo Federal Constituency, it was also gathered, had barely left the scene when gunshots were fired, sending people to scamper for safety.
The matter was later reported at the Ota divisional police headquarters.
Some PDP members, believed to be supporters of Adebutu, were said to have been arrested and charged to court on Tuesday, based on complaint by Seriki.
The Sun learnt that the crisis was not unconnected with the Seriki’s gubernatorial declaration for 2019 elections in Ota on last Tuesday.
Some of the PDP members, who were reportedly supporters of another governorship aspirant, were said to have opposed the declaration, thus resulting in commotion and violent attacks.
It was learnt that 16 people were initially arrested by the police in connection with the fracas but six of them were eventually charged to court after 10 were found not to be directly linked to the incident.
Some sources within the party informed our correspondent that Adebutu’s decision to come to the rescue of those arrested by providing them with free legal services to secure their bail, might have not gone down well with some party supporters, hence, the clash in Ota.
Adebutu’s supporters, however, blamed the violence on Seriki.
But Seriki, who spoke on phone with our correspondent on Thursday, denied he had a hand in the skirmish.
The Ogun State campaign coordinator of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 said: “I wasn’t in Ota anyway but I can understand their desperation to cover up the killing of somebody.
“People came to attack me last week. I’m a law-abiding Nigerian, I have reported to the law enforcement agency, they have arrested those people that attacked me and charged them to court.
“I had no contact with unruly people. My position is to enhance the enforcement of law and order. Some people believe in circumventing law for whatever political game anticipated, it is their luck. If in the process it backfired and they fought and killed somebody, it is their luck.
“There was no way I could come into the picture. I don’t resort to self-help and I don’t deal with thugs.”
When contacted to confirm the incident, Ogun state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said he would get back to our correspondent soon.