Police has said that Aregbesola’s thugs fired gunshots without provocation, The Nation report.
The police yesterday blamed the Minister of Interior, Chief Rauf Aregbesola, for the recent mayhem in Osogbo, the state capital.
Also, the Osun State Government condemned the shooting, warning that any unruly action by any individual, no matter highly placed, will be checked legally.
A statement by Police spokesman SP Yemisi Opalola explained that Aregbesola’s conduct breached public peace.
She said: “Yesterday’s action was conduct likely to cause a breach of the public peace. About 5:30pm, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola was moving in a convoy of personnel of NSCDC, Correctional Service, Immigration, as well as some unidentified armed people, suspected to be political thugs, on Orisumbare/MDS road, Osogbo.
“Suddenly, some of the security escorts of the minister started shooting sporadically into the air without any provocation or attack, thereby causing members of the public to scamper for safety.
“Thirteen empty shells of G-3, assault, and AK-47 rifles were recovered on the road after the minister’s departure. No casualty was recorded. The situation is under close monitoring.”
However, the spokesperson of NSCDC, Atanda Olabisi, in a statement, attributed the mayhem to “unknown hoodlums.”
He said: “The Osun State Commandant NSCDC, Emmanuel Ocheja, has assured residents of the state of adequate security, amid the mayhem caused by some unscrupulous elements in the state capital today.
“Unknown hoodlums attacked the convoy of the former Governor of Osun State and Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola about 6:40pm around Old Garage Area in Osogbo, the state capital. However, the security detail of the minister were able to disperse the hoodlums and bring normalcy to the area.”
The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) advised the camps of Aregbesola and Governor Adegboyega Oyetola to embrace peace in the interest of the state.
The council regretted that the clash between the opposing camps is capable of plunging the state into anarchy.
IPAC Chairman Wale Adebayo said in a statement that the crisis is capable of painting the state in bad light.
Urging the major actors in the Monday shooting to call their men to order, Adebayo urged the two respected leaders to embrace peace.
He added: “It is obvious that democracy can only thrive in a peaceful atmosphere. It is our only hope of building a strong, virile, stable, prosperous and a just society”.
The state government maintained that the roadshow by Aregbesola was organised to truncate the peace of the state.
Special Adviser to Oyetola on Political Matters Sunday Akere speaking during the endorsement by APC members in Ila Federal Constituency, said: “There is no truth in the claim that Aregbesola wanted to be assassinated. What they are trying to do is to cause crisis in the state, probably for them to get sympathy and to make the Federal Government declare a state of emergency.
“Aregbesola came to town to terrorise residents of the state. It is the game plan of Aregbesola which we all know. We know his orientation, thinking and plans in the state. We can’t be surprised by his actions. What he is trying to do is to intimidate voters ahead of the primary election of APC in Osun.
“We want the Presidency to call him to order. Aregbesola is no more representing the interest of Osun, but his own interest. Most of his aides as a minister are not from Osun State. He will never succeed with his personal agendas in Osun State.
Akere also denied the claim that some people planned to assassinate the minister, saying it was unfounded.
A party elders, Prince Felix Awofisayo, advised Aregbesola to stop fomenting crisis.
He said in a statement that the shooting was uncalled for and should be condemned by all peace-loving people.
He said: “I do not know what Ogbeni Aregbesola stands to gain if anyone among traders by the roadside is hit by stray bullets from guns held by his security details, or hoodlums in his entourage.
“I admonish the nation’s minister of Interior to call all the security personnel and hoodlums in his entourage to order and allow residents of the state to enjoy the current peace pervading the state.
“When the minister was at the helm of affairs in the state, no one could do what he did on Monday without repercussion.
“My candid advice to Governor Oyetola is to remain focused and not be distracted by the shenanigans of those opposing his style of administration and by extension, enemies of development.”
Protesters under the aegis of National Association of Osun State Students (NAOSS) and National Association of Nigeria Students/Joint Campus Committee, (Osun axis) stormed the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Osun State to protest the shooting.
The protesters described sporadic gunshots as unacceptable and disturbing.
They arrived at the entrance of the command on Oke-Ayepe, Osogbo, at 2:30pm, carrying placards with inscriptions: “NSCDC threatens our people in Osun”, “NSCDC, are we safe”, “NSCDC, “we are having you for peace not to kill our people”, “ Stop brutality against Osun residents,” and many more.
The protesters submitted a letter of protest addressed to the Commander General of the Civil Defence Corps, Dr Hammed Abubkar, signed by NAOSS President, Agboola Yusuf, State Coordinator of Progressive Youth Alternative, Sanusi Wasiu and Osun NANS/JCC Chairman, Oyelayo Azeez.
The Nation Osun Correspondent, Toba Adedeji, was brutalised by officers of NSCDC on the scene of the protest.
They also threatened to shoot other reporters on the scene of the protest.
Chief Press Secretary to the governor Ismail Omipidan said Aregbesola is not God and therefore, cannot determine the fate of his principal, Oyetola.
He told reporters in Ila: “From 2011 when Governor Oyetola was appointed chief of staff to Aregbesola in 2018, against all odds, he emerged, first as the candidate of APC, and later, governor of the state, at a time when many thought it was all over for him, it was obvious that he was on a divine political course.
“My principal has absolute faith in God and the people of Osun. In these last three years plus, the people can tell the difference in terms of responsible and responsive governance and politics.
“Before we came in, Osun West was literally neglected in terms of infrastructure. But since we came in, we have done roads that had been abandoned for close to 20 years in that district. This, perhaps, explains why leaders and critical stakeholders from the area are already appealing to themselves to allow Oyetola take another shot at the governorship for the second term.
“Just about a week ago, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, urged the people of the town to vote for Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.
“Oluwo, who advised his subjects not to waste their resources and energy working against the re-election bid of the governor, said only those who are not interested in the growth and development of the town and Osun State would want to run against Oyetola.
“The royal father said by the special Grace of God and the support of the people, Oyetola will be re-elected to consolidate the achievements he has so far recorded. Now, Aregbesola’s anointed candidate is from Iwo. So you be the judge.
“As the 2022 contest draws closer, like the saying goes, there is no point comparing the sun with the moon, both shine when it is their time. For now, it’s Oyetola’s sun that is shining by the permission and Grace of God and the power of the people of Osun. And as the majority are already saying, this sun will shine beyond 2022.
“Therefore, it is God and Osun people that will determine Oyetola’s fate, not an individual trying to play God.”