‘Policeman’ accidentally shoots Bamidele, five others as Fayemi holds rally in Ekiti
It Was Assassination Attempt, Alleges State APC
A Police officer, yesterday, accidentally shot a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Opeyemi Bamidele, and a yet to be identified person, at a rally, as the party’s candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, began campaigns for the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State.
The rally, which attracted large crowd of party supporters and admirers across the state, started on a good note from Akure, the Ondo State capital, before it turned bloody at the party’s secretariat in Ajilosun area of Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, Fayemi and former minister of Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who were in a long convoy of vehicles, had gone up to greet party leaders and were descending the staircase when the policeman suddenly released several bullets ostensibly to ward off the surging crowd.
The policeman involved in the shooting was allegedly trying to protect the dignitaries from being mobbed by those who were trying to extort money from them, when the shots hit Bamidele on the hand and the other victim in the chest.
It was gathered that the mob had struggled with the policeman before he lost control and shot sporadically in the wrong direction, but another source alleged the policeman might have been drunk, as attempts had been made before the incident to disarm him.
Bamidele was hurriedly taken into the car conveying Akeredolu and taken to the hospital, while the other victim fell on the ground, as crowd feared that he must have died.
The angry party men eventually succeeded in disarming the policeman, descending on him and smashed his head with sticks and other objects before he was rescued and taken into safe custody.
This incident caused serious commotion at Mobil area, as residents scampered for safety in different directions for fear of being hit by stray bullets.
In its reaction, the APC in the state alleged that bloody politicking has returned to Ekiti State, insisting that the incident was rather an assassination attempt on Fayemi.
Fayemi, who resigned his appointment on Wednesday as minister and was returning to the state in a welcome party planned by the party
A statement by the state Publicity Secretary
of the party, Taiwo Olatunbosun, said: “It was a smooth ride from Akure Airport to Ikere-Ekiti, where thousands of supporters came out to give him a rousing welcome.
“Ikere-Ekiti journey to Ado-Ekiti, a distance of about nine kilometres, lasted two hours in a heavy traffic punctuated by four gunmen, suspected to be agents of the state government, who strategically positioned themselves at the party’s secretariat in Ado-Ekiti for the attack.
“One of the assailants, dressed in mobile police uniform, was apprehended and he is now helping the Police in their investigation.
They fired gunshots aimed at Fayemi, but hit Bamidele, after the former minister had taken a few steps forward before the bullets hit the target.
“Bamidele and other victims were immediately rushed to the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, where he is responding to treatment.
“Bamidele was fatally wounded in the attack, while others also sustained various degrees of injuries.
“Other victims in the hospital included Olabode Joshua, Olanrewaju Gbenga, Adebayo Ogunjemilehin, Ogunmodede Oluwole and Alex Adeleye.”
Fayemi and his entourage were received in Ikere Ekiti by a long convoy of vehicles and large crowd of party supporters, which caused traffic snarl along Ado-Akure road.
Before the incident, Akeredolu and Fayemi, while addressing party members, said the candidate had come home to rescue Ekiti from the pangs of poverty and wanton neglect caused by the outgoing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration.
Akeredolu applauded party members for putting behind them, the post-primary crisis, saying with the crowd he saw yesterday, Ekiti remains the stronghold of the APC.
“Fayemi has returned with full force to reclaim the land. He needs your support and this task shall be achieved in the mighty name of God,” he said.
In his response, Fayemi said: “We are here to work for Ekiti and our party leaders and this, we are going to do together, because it is a collective responsibility.”
Tactically referring to Adeyeye, Fayemi added: “We are going to work with everybody, including those who just decamped to our party, because we are one big family in APC.
“We shall win by the grace of God. Our case was like the case of a ram that moved backward to garner more strength. We are here to rescue Ekiti and it is a task we must achieve.”
In his contributions, Adeyeye, who returned to the party on Tuesday after 12 years in the PDP, said: “I have returned home and my mission is to ensure that we killed (Governor Ayo) Fayose politically by burying him.
“We shall mobilise well to achieve this task and by the grace of God, this is a must-win and must accomplished task for all of us.”
Fayemi’s running mate, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, was also in the entourage, among other party leaders.
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