Ekiti Shooting: APC blames security lapses, suspends campaign
The incident happened at a rally organised for its governorship candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
The party said it was suspending electioneering until security agencies are able to guarantee their safety in the build up to the July 14 election.
This came as the Ekiti State Police Command said it has arrested the policeman, who accidentally shot the former House of Representatives member, and one other victim in Ado Ekiti. It said it also arrested a politician, who illegally withdrew the policeman from his official duty in Ikeja, Lagos.
The state chairman, Chief Jide Awe, who briefed journalists in Ado Ekiti, blamed the police for granting Governor Fayose permission to hold a separate rally with commercial motorcyclists after permitting the party to hold its rally same day, saying it was capable of igniting crisis in the state.
Insisting the “attack was a well coordinated assassination attempt on its candidate and top hierarchy of the party,” Awe said the party was not convinced by the police’s claim that it was a case of accidental discharge.
He said: “We raise serious doubts over police investigation claiming that it was a case of accidental discharge. The police must convince us that the policeman, who fired the shot is not fake. They claimed that he came from MOPOL 20 in Lagos. What was a policeman from Lagos doing in our rally? What was his mission and who was his principal?”
The chairman said: “Our stand is that it was an assassination plot on our candidate, because the shooting came from a close range to where Dr. Fayemi was. The police must get to the root of where this emanated. Lives were involved and our people were hit, so we can’t fold our arms and be watching.”
Meanwhile, in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr. Caleb Ikechukwu, the police in Ado Ekiti said the injured policeman was responding to treatment at an undisclosed location with other victims.
“Today, Friday June 1, at about 1700hrs, the policeman who accidentally shot Opeyemi Bamidele and one other has been arrested. He is attached to the 20 PMF Ikeja Lagos State, where he was posted in bank guard duties somewhere in Ikeja.
“The politician who conspired and removed the said policeman from where he was posted by his Squadron Commander and came to Ado Ekiti with him for unofficial reasons has also been arrested.”
Meanwhile, Special Assistant on Media to Hon. Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, Ahmed Salami, has dispelled insinuations that the former member of the House of Representatives is in coma.
In a statement, Salami said though Bamidele immediately fell and passed out due to trauma, after bullets hit his abdominal region and leg, “he has since regained consciousness and is fast recuperating.”
He said: “It’s true that Bamidele has passed through major surgeries and the bullets have been removed from his abdominal region and leg. We implore our supporters to be calm and be law abiding. The situation is under control.”
Salami described the shooting as very unfortunate and unwarranted, based on the peaceful way “our people comported themselves from Akure, the Ondo State capital, via Ikere and then to Ado Ekiti.”
He charged the police to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the shooting and bring the perpetrator to justice.
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