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By Lere Olayinka

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State has described the gangsterism allegedly displayed along Ibadan-Ife Road yesterday, by suspected thugs that were in the convoy of one of the Action Congress (AC) Senatorial Aspirants in the State, Mr. Dele Alake as shameful, saying; “the incident must be investigated and all those involved prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others.”

Alake's convoy allegedly endangered the lives of other road users along Ibadan-Ife expressway, including a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Mr. Tunji Alapini. The convoy allegedly had a brush with some road users, who were reportedly being harassed by Alake's armed entourage.

Reacting to the incident, the PDP Director of Communications and Strategy, Mr. Jackson Adebayo said; “By that incident of yesterday, which we understand involved the shooting of a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Mr. Tunji Alapinni, the AC people have further demonstrated their penchant for political thuggery and violence.

“In our opinion, it is only a violent person that would be coming to his place of birth, accompanied by gun-wielding thugs and if we must have a free and fair elections next years, matters like this must not swept under the carpet.

“We believe the police should ask Alake what the business of the gun-wielding thugs would be when they get to Ekiti State. If an Ekiti State aspirant was already moving around with thugs armed to the teeth, and the thugs were causing pandemonium in faraway Ibadan, then what to expect from such an aspirant during the election should be better imagined.”

Describing the incident as shameful and against the culture of honour, peace and hospitality that Ekiti people are noted for, the PDP said; “It is unfortunate that it was these same people that imported violence to Ekiti, having been taught the art of political brigand by their Lagos political landlord.

“Nigerians should recall the invasion of Ekiti by thugs from Lagos during the April 25, 2009 rerun governorship election, the wanton destruction of houses at Isan-Ekiti, AC governorship candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi's hometown in 2007 and 2009, the destruction of over 30 vehicles at Ifaki-Ekiti during the Ekiti North Senatorial District rerun election among others.

“Now, with the display of gangsterism by Alake and his thugs yesterday, Nigerians can begin to imagine what to expect from the AC during the 2011 elections.

“Therefore, if we must have a violence free election next year, the AC and its group of political war mongers should be checked now!”