Suspected political thugs on Saturday chased away the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Ogun State, Rotimi Paseda, during a rally in Ijebu-Ode.
It was gathered that the violence broke out at Oyigbo junction in Ijebu-Ode and lasted for about 15 minutes.
The incident happened when some unidentified political thugs invaded the venue while the SDP flagbearer was addressing the crowd.
The development forced the campaign programme to an abrupt end, as security operatives whisked away the governorship candidate and other Very Important Personalities at the event.
The thugs reportedly carted away the empowerment gift items which included; gas cookers, sewing machines, hair dryers and refrigerators meant to be shared to the people at the event .
Reacting to the incident, the SDP governorship candidate in a statement claimed that, the attack was premeditated by unnamed opposition candidate.
He commended the Nigeria Police attached to Ijebu- Ode for responding swiftly and dispersing the hoodlums without inflicting injury on the people.
He said, “In my state most especially my senatorial district we have never been attacked before, we are very peaceful, I only associate with peace.
“I think we started the campaign very fine until we saw a set of people who are not our party members. We tried to manage and calm them, but, they were shouting opposition slogans and the way it was done I think it was a coup plan because I’ve never seen it before”.
When asked whether he got the Police permit to hold the rally, Paseda said ,”We have permission to hold the campaign at that spot and the police, TRACE, Vigilante and Civil Defence Officers were on ground, but, I thank God nobody died.
“I think we need to commend the Police because they have really stepped up their game by bringing the situation under control and ensure everybody’s safety.
“I will personally lodge a complaint to the Commissioner of Police on Monday to ensure tight security at our campaign ground to ensure safety of our members and the electorate “.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, also confirmed the incident to journalists but cautioned that there was no loss of life .
Oyeyemi said the command had advised the politicians to inform the Police 24 hours before the rally so as to fortify the venue with security.
According to Oyeyemi, there was a rally and as usual we provided enough security for the candidate as we have been doing for others.
He said “during the rally, some political thugs wanted to extort money from the politician and their inability to get the money from him made them attempt to distrupt the rally.
“But, with the vigilant efforts of our men we dispersed them . There was no death, nobody sustained injury”.