Drama as Adeleke’s aides, ex-senate spokesperson clash at Eid prayers
There was a mild drama at the Osogbo central Eid prayer ground on Wednesday as Osun Governor’s aides clash with former Senate spokesperson, Senator Ajibola Basiru over space.
The incident which created rumpus at the Eid ground prevented the State Governor, Ademola Adeleke from observing the two raka’at prayer rites at the ground.
The Senator along with a foremost religious leader in the state, Chief Tunde Badmus had arrived at the prayer ground at the Oke-Baale area of the state capital and took their seats in the front row.
However, some members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, loyal to the Governor and indigenes of Osogbo engaged the Senator requesting that he vacate the space reserved for the governor on the front row.
The Senator shifted from the space but insisted that as one of the leaders, he had always seat in the front and nothing would move him to another row.
The scene which lasted over ten minutes created a scene at the ground till the Governor and his entourage arrived at the ground.
His security detail, having observed the situation did not allow him to leave his vehicle to observe the prayers.
It was gathered that attempt to arrest the senator was eventually foiled as he was said to leave the ground with Chief Badmus after the prayer rites.
The Governor escaped assassination – Spokesperson
However, the spokesperson to the Governor, Olawale Rasheed in a statement after the incident, said the Governor escaped an assassination attempt at the prayer ground.
He berated Senator Ajibola for his role in the whole scenario at the ground, saying the Governor has instructed security operatives to arrest those involved in the incident.
“My good people of Osun, I appeal for calm and urge us to continue to celebrate the Sallah festival in peace. I am safe by the special grace of God.
“I have directed security agencies to arrest those behind the incident and get them to face the wrath of the law. The Commissioner of Police has been directed to arrest those involved no matter how highly placed.
“The State Government had meanwhile condemned the orchestrated attacks on the Governor by stalwarts of the All Progressives Congress at the praying ground. Members of the public will recall an earlier security alert on an evil plot to destabilize the peace and stability of Osun state.
The government particularly notes with shock and surprise the role played by former Senator Ajibola Bashiru who took over the space reserved for the Governor at the prayer ground. All efforts to get the former Senator to vacate the space proved abortive.
PDP members who agitated for respect for the office of the Governor were beaten up. It was a scene of chaos by the time the Governor arrived for the prayer.
The government was even more shocked that thugs armed to the teeth were spotted all over the praying ground with the security information that they were imported to eliminate the Governor and key government functionaries.
The Governor who arrived at the venue hoping to observe the Eid prayers was practically surrounded by armed thugs, prompting security men to ferry the Governor into his jeep.
“For the second time, the Governor attempted to enter the praying field but the encirclement by armed thugs was already visible. It was at that point that the Governor had to leave the praying ground”.
Meanwhile, Senator Ajibola described the claim by Governor Adeleke of an attempt to assassinate him as illogical and highly misplaced.
His words; “If anybody says that I, Ajibola Basiru attempt to assassinate the governor of Osun state, the person needs psychiatric examination. I never saw the governor today and I’m not sure the governor set his eyes on me. But today, (Wednesday), I was assaulted by thugs of PDP led by Muniru Raji at the praying ground where I was sitting to pray. I did not see any protocols but yet, Muniru Raji brought thugs that I should stand up from where I wanted to pray and I prayed at the same spot every year. I did not see the Governor. I did not know whether he come or he did not come. I did not fight anybody. The thugs removed my turban. They tried to take me away but the worshippers rose against them. If they say somebody wants to assassinate the governor, that means something is wrong with the Governor to have even allowed such a statement to be issued on his behalf.
“I was invited by the police, the Chief Security Officer to the Governor was also there and the matter was resolved amicably. I’m back at my house and I’m going to Ila Orangun to celebrate with our leader, Chief Bisi Akande. We told them that it was the overzealous supporters of the governor who fomented trouble. There is an established position as to where Muslim leaders should sit and that is where I sat. I did not see any protocol from the governor. I did not set my eyes on the governor. I did not know he was coming to the Eid. The person that issued the statement needs a psychiatric examination. The governor should sack the person that pushed that story out”.
PDP, APC trade blames
While the PDP in a statement by the Chairman, Sunday Bisi cautioned the Senator to watch his conduct, warning that the party and the good people of Osun State will not take kindly to his plot to destabilize the peace of the state, the APC Chairman, Tajudeen Lawal blamed the PDP hoodlums for attempting to forcefully remove the Senator from the prayer ground, blaming the Governor for needlessly heating the polity.