- Fayose blames APC for renewed violence
- Fayemi, Oluwajana seek thorough investigation
Gboyega Akinsanmi in Lagos and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Bunmi Ojo was gruesomely murdered by unknown gunmen in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, thereby putting the state on the spot again.
Ojo, who was until his death a Commissioner of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), was shot at about8:30 p.m. at a viewing centre located along Ado-Iworoko road.
Ojo, a personal assistant to the state’s former governor, Chief Segun Oni between 2007 and 2010, was murdered alongside two other persons at the viewing centre, bringing the number of the victims to three.
In a swift reaction yesterday, however, Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose blamed the APC for what he described as the breach of peace the state had been experiencing since 2014.
But the state’s governor-elect, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and APC National Vice Chairman (South-west), Pastor Bankole Oluwajana condemned the killing, tasking the Ekiti State Police Command to bring the perpetrators to book.
Different accounts revealed that Ojo had gone to the viewing centre to watch an opening match of the European Premier League between Manchester United FC and Leicester City FC in company of his political friends before tragedy struck.
One of the accounts claimed that the gunmen, numbering six, invaded the centre and shot sporadically at the targets in the midst of the football enthusiasts, leaving three dead after the operation.
Another account added that Ojo was shot in the head and stomach while his body had been deposited at the morgue of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti.
The account said the tragic incident had thrown Oni’s camp into mourning and confusion, noting that many had started giving it political meaning to the gruesome murder of a staunch loyalist of the former governor.
It revealed that Ojo was preparing to contest the 2019 federal legislative election in the House of Representatives in Ekiti North Federal Constituency II.
The account said: “This killing had fueled the insinuation that Ojo’s death must have been politically motivated. He had aspiration and he had made contacts to his group. Already, his group had begun underground works.”
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Mr. Lere Olayinka, Fayose condoled with the families, friends and political associates of the deceased, praying that God in His infinite mercies would console and uphold his wife and children.
He said: “The manner in which Ojo, a commissioner in the Federal Character Commission and strong ally of Chief Segun Oni was killed is a demonstration of the extent some devilish people can go to settle scores with their fellows. The security agencies must not add this gruesome murder to the diary of unresolved murders in Nigeria.
“The state was peaceful until May 5, 2018 when members of the APC openly disrupted the party’s primary election, with gunshots. This was after Olalekan Taiwo, aide of one of the APC governorship aspirant, Dr. Oluwole Oluleye had been shot on May 4.
“The violence at the APC primaries was followed up by the shootings at the party secretariat during a reception organised for Fayemi, which left Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele and six others injured as well as invasion of the state with thugs during the July 14 governorship election.”
Fayemi, in a statement by his Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wole Olujobi, noted that the killing of the late politician was a sad commentary that shattered the relative peace the state had enjoyed after the election.
The governor-elect commiserated with the family of the late politician, thereby charging all security agencies “to get to the root of the killing and bring those behind the killing to justice.
“This is a sad development that should not be allowed to go away without getting to the root of this killing. However, the public must give security agencies chance to do their job and get to the root of this sad development.”
Oluwajana, APC National Vice Chairman (South-west), also condemned the incident, which he said, claimed three defenceless citizens including an APC patriot, warning against the use of political violence in pursuit of selfish interest.
Unlike the long list of unresolved murder in the state, Oluwajana urged the state police command to bring the perpetrators of the murder to book without wasting time.
He explained that bringing the perpetrators to book would be a clear statement “to criminals that there is no safe haven for them in Ekiti State, neither can evil perpetrators escape the grave consequence of their acts within the ambit of our laws.”
In a statement its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Olatunbosun issued yesterday, Ekiti APC called on the security operatives to fish out the perpetrators without delay
The statement said: “Those who knew Ojo cannot, but liked him. He was an easy-going and upright politician who cultivated friendship in both high and low places, which endeared him to many people.”
The statement, therefore, said the murder of Ojo could not be far from political machinations, noting that he assailants “are tools of a devilish politician in the state. We will not rest until the assailants are fished out. This is a test of efficiency for the police and other security operatives.”
Before the latest incident, about ten high profile cases of murder had been recorded in Ekiti State in the last 13 years, which the state justice system had failed to resolve.
During Fayose’s first term one Ayo Omojola was killed during a councillorship election in Ifaki Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government Area. Omojola, whose case was shoddily prosecuted by the police, was a businessman based in Holland before he was murdered.
On August 14, 2006, a former World Bank Consultant, Dr. Ayodeji Daramola was slain
to death in his Ijan Ekiti country home, Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State by unknown gunmen.
Daramola was then nursing governorship ambition on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Although several people were arrested in connection to Daramola’s death, no one was eventually convicted in court.
In 2009, a PDP Chieftain in Otun Ekiti, Moba Local Government Area, Chief Ayo Awolumate was killed by people suspected to be hired assassins.
On May 30, 2014, two PDP members, Mrs. Julianah Adewumi and Ayo Jeje were killed at Erinjiyan Ekiti while defecting from APC to the then opposition, PDP.
The death led to the arrest of Mr. Sola Adenijo and the Ekiti APC Chairman, Chief Jide Awe, who was declared wanted by the police when he refused to show up for questioning.
Mr. Foluso Ogundare, a close ally of an APC chieftain, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, who had then defected to Labour Party due to irreconcilable differences with Fayemi was shot dead in Emure Ekiti.
On September 24, 2014, few days before Fayemi completed his first term, former Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Ekiti State and Fayose’s ally, Chief Omolafe Aderiye was killed at his office located at Ijigbo area of Ado Ekiti.
Ekiti’s Unresolved Murder Cases
Mr. Tunde Omojola – May 28, 2005
Dr. Ayo Daramola – August 14, 2006
Chief Ayo Awolumate – May 15, 2009 .
Mrs Julianah Adewumi – May 30, 2014
Mr. Ayo Jeje – May 30, 2014
Mr. Foluso Ogundare – November 3, 2013
Chief Omolafe Aderiye: September 24, 2014
Mr. Bunmi Ojo –August 10, 2018.