Segun Showunmi, one of the gubernatorial candidates under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last election in Ogun state has given detailed explanations of how he was attacked at the Ogun State election petition tribunal sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, by thugs said to be loyalists of a political party.
Showunmi who addressed pressmen at his residence a few hours after the incident said the experience was highly traumatic for him.
Showunmi said he was in court to show solidarity to Ladi Adebutu the governorship candidate, being the first hearing of the PDP petition.
“Today was the beginning, the opening of the tribunal and obviously a lot of people will go there. It is usual for leaders of political parties like us to show our faces so we can just show solidarity, not like we are leaving all our followers to do all the hard work while we sit in the comfort of our air conditioned rooms. And in my habit I don’t move around with things or miscreants.
“I approached the court gate and it was locked and I realised that there was no room in the court anymore and I simply turned back; and as I made my way to leave, a horde of marauders descended on me, bringing out cudgels, whips; they brought out guns and they were generally misbehaving. Luckily, a security vehicle was not too far off and I entered into the security vehicle to make my way to leave,” Showunmi narrated.
The Egba chief said he could not recollect any time in the history of Ogun State where “brigandage, misbehaviour, thuggery, criminality, marauders and murderers” have been elevated to that level.
Showunmi told President Bola Tinubu that, “not even under Muhammadu Buhari has brigandage been tolerated to the level that we are beginning to see it now.”
He maintained that, “it was easy to explain an attack until I felt it physically, to ask myself how this type of madness happens here?”
Showunmi regretted that he saw the police “standing by helpless,” as though they did not understand that they have the responsibility to keep the peace.
“I kept asking myself, how could they have been watching APC thugs hold guns and sticks.
“I was asking myself, when did Ogun State become a place where thugs are sent for the opening day of the tribunal? How does it become fashionable for you to mobilise miscreants to the tribunal?”
Showunmi requested that the tribunal be relocated outside Ogun State to avoid further attacks on PDP members.
“Our position is that, the President of the Court of Appeal, in his wisdom should please relocate Ogun State election tribunal from Abeokuta because it is no longer safe, so that we can go and have that tribunal in the peaceful atmosphere of Abuja and everybody can have the case adjudicated and we can deal with the outcome of the court cases,” he said.
Showunmi maintained that “we have been putting in a lot of work to beg our people not to resort to reprisal.”
“It is a very ugly day of shame, it is a day that nobody in their right senses who is a true born of Ogun State will be proud of.
“Some of my followers are in the hospital as we speak, attending to their injuries. Luckily, I was able to get away from the place, but it was not without its own scars.
“What would have happened if I had mobilised thugs there? What would have happened if I had told our supporters that they should engage them in a fight? What would have happened if it had gotten out of hand?
“Do we need to make a bloodbath in Ogun State just because of an election,” he queried, saying the PDP would claim its “stolen mandate in court.”