There were sounds of gunshots and an uproar in Idanre on Wednesday night, as supporters of aspirants to the Ondo State House of Assembly clashed.
The police in Ondo State told PREMIUM TIMES that no life was lost in the shootout, as officers were able to contain the conflict.
Witnesses reported many people were injured in the clash as thugs ambushed some politicians of the All Progressives Congress.
Those who were reportedly attacked were supporters of the House of Assembly hopeful, Tosin Ogunlowo.
They were said to be returning from the APC Secretariat in Akure in a convoy when they were attacked with guns and machetes at Italorun village along the Idanre-Akure road .
“The aspirant was returning from Akure to Idanre where she went to submit her nomination form, with her supporters,” a witness, who asked not to be named for fear of an attack, told PREMIUM TIMES.
“So along the road , the thugs came out and attacked them with guns, cutlasses and broken bottles and they inflicted injuries on her supporters.
“They also vandalised the vehicles in the convoy.”
The source, however, noted that the aspirant escaped the attack unhurt while those injured were taken to hospital for treatment.
One of the victims, Gbodi Bamidele, who is also the leader of the Idanre Local Government Legislative Council, said the attack was sponsored, alleging that one thug, popularly known as Prof, led the attack.
“We were coming from Akure where our aspirant went to submit her nomination form. When we got to Oja Anaye, one of the thugs called Prof came with others to attack us,” Mr Bidele said.
“They came with guns , bottles of beer and cutlasses. Our members were seriously injured. They have been taken to the hospital.”
But the police spokesperson, Funmilayo Odunlami, described the incident as a fight between supporters of two political aspirants in the area.
She said the police had intervened and calmed the situation.
“There was an altercation between the supporters of two aspirants in the area, it led to a shoot out,” said Mrs Odunlami.
“The police from Idanre Division were able to maintain peace while the victims have been taken to the hospital.”
The incident is the first major violence leading up to the 2023 general elections in the state.
Idanre local government is noted for violence, before and during major elections.
During the local government elections in the town, held in August 2020, there were several clashes between political parties, leading to injuries and destruction of property.
The SDP secretariat was also attacked and party supporters and officials were manhandled by political thugs.
No one was arrested for the damage caused during the mayhem.
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