Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti on Saturday traded blames over the tragic murder of Mr. Bunmi Ojo, a former Personal Assistant to ex-Deputy National Chairman of the APC and former governor of the state, Segun Oni.
While the APC accused the Ekiti State government of creating an atmosphere of insecurity, the government in its reaction said the peace enjoyed in the state since Governor Ayodele Fayose assumed office on October 16, 2014, had been shattered since May, this year, when the APC returned with its do-or-die brand of politics.
Ojo was assassinated by yet-to-be identified gunmen about 10 p.m. on Friday at a viewing centre in Adebayo area, along Iworoko road in the state capital.
A reliable source, who preferred anonymity, told Sunday Sun that Ojo, who was a Commissioner on the Board of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) in Abuja until his death, had gone to the viewing centre with some of his political friends, adding that the gun-wielding men, numbering six, invaded the centre and shot several people including Ojo.
The source said that the victim was shot in the head and stomach, adding that his body had been deposited at the morgue of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti.
The source said: “This killing has fueled insinuations that Ojo’s death must have been politically motivated. He had a political aspiration and he had made contacts to his group and they were already doing underground works.
“Again, several efforts had been made to ensure that he gets presidential nod for a second term on the board of FCC; so this is another angle to this killing,” he stated.
But a source said Ojo must have been a victim of the rampage by cultists in Adebayo area in the recent time.
“Several people have been killed in Adebayo area of late. I learnt the killers were cultists and they had a target at the viewing centre, which might not be him. Those who were killed, including former governor Oni’s personal assistant, must have been killed in error, because they are not likely to be their target,” the source said.
But the APC, while reacting to the incident, pointed accusing fingers at the PDP, saying, “the present government would certainly be made to account for all its atrocities, and brought to book for creating an atmosphere of bloodletting in a hitherto peaceful environment.”
The party added: “Let it be known that the present state government is not free from all the insecurities pervading our state and will be held responsible as the mastermind. We deserve an explanation as to why Bunmi Ojo should be killed without provoking anyone.”
Responding to the allegation, Special Assistant to the governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said the state was peaceful until May 5, 2018 when members of the APC openly disrupted the party’s primary election with gunshots.
He added: “The violence at the APC primary was followed up by the shootings at the party secretariat during a reception organised for Dr. Kayode 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.
“It has therefore become necessary for Ekiti people to be vigilant especially now that the political environment is expected to be confronted with the case filed by Chief Segun Oni against Fayemi, challenging his eligibility to contest the APC primary as well as the petition filed by the PDP candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola at the tribunal.
“The manner in which Bunmi Ojo, a commissioner in the FCC and strong ally of Oni was killed is a demonstration of the extent some devilish people can go to settle scores with their fellow men and the security agencies must not add this gruesome murder to the diary of unresolved murders in Nigeria,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Media Office of Ekiti State governor-Elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has commisserated with the family of the victim.
In a statement by the Director of Media and Publicity, Wole Olujobi, Fayemi expressed shock and sadness over the late Ojo’s murder, describing it as a sad commentary that shattered the relative peace the state had enjoyed after the July 14 governorship poll.
Fayemi also charged security agencies to live up to their responsibility and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti State Command, Caleb Ikechukwu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) could not be reached to confirm the incident, as several calls to his phone were not picked.