Attack on Aregbesola: Civil Defence, Police Issue Conflicting Statements
Two Commands of security agencies in Osun have taken opposite views and stands over Monday’s attack on the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola.
Some hoodlums had allegedly tried to scare away supporters of the former minister who was the immediate past Governor when he was arriving Osogbo, the state capital on Monday.
Aregbesola was said to be in town to inspect the damages done to his old campaign office, the Oranmiyan House when the hoodlums started shooting.
Thousands of enthusiastic supporters of the former Governor had trooped out in cars and okada hailing him and the former Secretary to the State Government Moshood Adeoti and other party chieftains.
Aregbesola had earlier in Ijebu Jesa endorsed Adeoti as the candidate’s candidate for the July 16 governorship election in the state.
Pandemonium had broken out on major street of the state capital as the hoodlums made to stop Aregbesola’s convoy.
However, security men in the convoy of the Minister repelled the hoodlums who also shot back at the security operatives.
While the Osun Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Emmanuel Ocheja, assured residents of the state of adequate security amidst the mayhem caused by the shooting, the state command of the Nigerian Police Force said no attack was made on Aregbesola.
The NSCDC confirmed that gunmen shot to scare away supporters of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who were moving with his convoy and hailing him as he passed through Osogbo.
The security details of the Minister were also reported to have shot into the air, to repel the gunmen, and the shootings created tension and pandemonium, with people running for safety.
The NSCDC commandant, through a statement by his command’s Public Relations Officer, Atanda Olabisi, explained that unknown hoodlums attacked the convoy of the former Governor of Osun and Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, at about 6.40p.m around Old Garage area in Osogbo.
He also added that the security details of the Minister were able to disperse the hoodlums and restore normalcy to the area.
However, the Police Command in Osun denied the report of attacks on the Minister.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Yemisi Opalola, in a statement on Monday in Osogbo, said that it was some of the minister’s escort that shot into the air without provocation, causing people to scramble for safety.
“Today, Monday, at about 5.40pm, the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola was moving in convoy of personnel of NSCDC, Correctional Service, Immigration, as well as some unidentified armed people, suspected to be political thugs along Orisumbare/MFS Road, Osogbo.
“Suddenly, some of the security escorts of the minister started shooting sporadically into the air without any provocation nor attack, thereby causing members of the public to scramble for their safety.
“Thirteen empty shells of G-3, assault and AK-37 rifle were recovered along the road after the minister’s departure.
“No casualty, however, was recorded”, the PPRO pointed out.
She, however, said that the report of the incident was still sketchy, adding full report would be made available at the end of investigation.
According to her, the situation is under close monitoring and normalcy has returned.
The Publicity Secretary of a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Abiodun Agboola, had in a statement alleged that Aregbesola’s convoy was attacked by some armed political thugs at Orisunmibare, Osogbo ,while coming from Ilesa.
“Today’s attempt on the life of the minister is a confirmation that Osun is no longer a safe state.
“We can only pray that the Almighty would keep the good people of Osun and her well wishers safe”, Agboola said