Some thugs suspected to belong to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) clashed violently on Wednesday evening.
The clash which occurred at the Alade Idanre in Idanre Local Government Area of the state led to the death of one person.
The deceased simply identified as Taiye was said to have put on a branded fez cap of the ZLP.
Sources, who pleaded not to be named while speaking with PREMIUM TIMES for security reasons on Thursday, said the thugs engaged in physical combat with cutlasses.
Mr Taiye was hacked to death, this newspaper learned.
“The thugs were wearing APC and ZLP branded clothes. The guy who was ‘macheted’ was putting on a ZLP cap. Others from different camps also sustained severe injuries,” a source told this newspaper.
Our correspondent gathered that the body of the deceased was later taken to a morgue at the General Hospital, Alade Idanre.
The incident was confirmed to this newspaper by the state police command spokesperson, Tee-Leo Ikoro, in an interview on Thursday.
“Some political boys had clash yesterday and it led to the death of one person,” he told our correspondent.
Mr Ikoro said the force had launched an investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding the death and also ensure that perpetrators face the law.
Parties trade blames
Residents literally shut down the town on Thursday in protest of the killing.
The publicity secretary of ZLP, Olatunde Felix, said information gathered by the party indicated that Mr Taye was attacked by the APC thugs for daring to put on the ZLP fez cap in the area.
“They attacked him and beat him to death because they saw him wearing a face cap with the ZLP logo,” said Mr Felix.
“The APC have signed up for violence especially with the statement by a chieftain of the party, Kekemeke, who vowed to unleash violence in the coming election.
“We will not sit back and allow our members to be killed like fouls, even though we do not subscribe to violence.
“We are going to follow this up to its logical conclusion to ensure that those involved are punished.”
However, the APC denied that its supporters actually carried out the killing.
Alex Kalejaiye, the publicity secretary of the party, said it was the ZLP supporters who chased away APC members who arrived the area to place Gov Akeredolu’s posters in the area.
“After chasing away the APC supporters some sympathisers got involved and the violence erupted,” he said.
“It is unfortunate that somebody died in the process and our hearts go out to the family of the victim.
“But we must state that the ZLP are known for violence and they were the assailants. It is not true that the APC supporters killed the man.”
Mr Kalejaiye called on security agencies to immediately investigate the matter and unravel those behind the killing in order to bring them to justice.
Ademehintoye Claudus, the Chairman of the ZLP in Idanre, who confirmed the incident, alleged that the thugs who killed Mr Taye were sponsored by the chieftains of the APC who had been attacking members of the opposition parties in the Idanre community.
“Taye was killed by the APC thugs yesterday because he was canvassing support for the ZLP being a member of our party,” he said.
“And what happened has also confirmed that the APC is calling for war in this election because they have been attacking us unchallenged.
“In fact, the party has broken the peace accord reached at the palace of the Monarch of Idanre with other political parties ahead of this contest.
“Although, we have appealed to our members and supporters to remain calm even in the face of this provocation and asked them not to take laws into their own hands.”
The Police Public Relations Officer for the state Police Command, Teo-Leo Ìkorò, said a detachment of Policemen had been sent to the town to maintain law and order.
“Investigation in the incident has commenced with intention to arrest culprits involved in the incident.”
Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) had expressed worry that the October 10 governorship election in the state may be marred with violence.
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), there are 17 political parties with candidates contesting for the governorship seat.
The major candidates are Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the APC, Agboola Ajayi, of the ZLP and Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).