Guber poll: Tension in Ondo

■ Gunmen kill LG boss, as APC holds primary election today

FROM BAMIGBOLA GBOLAGUNTE, AKURE

THERE is palpable tension in Akure, Ondo State capital, following the assassination of the Chairman, Caretaker Management Committee of Okitipupa Local Government area of the state, Mr Niyi Pirisola barely 24 hours to the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Pirisola who was also the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the local government was reportedly killed in his house in Ilutitun, Okitipupa in the early hours of yesterday by gunmen.

The deceased was said to have been murdered by his assailants while returning from a church programme at about 3 am on Friday.

A relation of the deceased politician explained that Pirisola was killed at the gate into his house by suspected assasins.

He said “the deceased went to church for vigil on Thursday evening and returned in the wee hours of the day. He was shot at his gate when he was about to enter his compound.”

According to him, “the late Pirisola was murdered by gunmen who followed him from the church to his house in Ilutitun”

He said that the deceased had no premonition of his death, as he had is- sue with nobody before his untimely death.

The family source said that the matter had been reported to the Police for proper investigation even as the family meets on his funeral arrangements.

Reacting, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the state, Mr Femi Joseph confirmed the incident, saying that the Police have commenced investigation into the matter.

He said no suspect has been arrested in connection with the death of Pirisola, adding that efforts are on top gear to bring the perpetrators of the devilish act to book.

The PPRO urged admirers of the late politician to remain calm until the Police conclude their investigations.

He urged members of the public with useful information on the killing to inform the Police.

Meanwhile, the state chapter of the PDP has called on the Police and other security agencies in the state to investigate the killing of Pirisola. The party in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Banji Okunomo said the death of the PDP leader called for serious investigation as the state approaches an electioneering period.

Okunomo, who ex- pressed shock at the inhu- man act, also called on all security agencies to bring the perpetrators of the dastardly act to book. According to him, “this is necessary because of the sensitivity of the times that we are in in Ondo State considering that the state is preparing for its governorship election, which holds on November 26, 2016.

“The PDP cautions against anything that could heat up the polity and impede the transition process that is being prepared for in our dear Sunshine State. We must not allow hoodlums to tamper with this track record or dent our image in any way.”

The APC election, which had been shifted twice, had in the past two weeks, generated serious heat in the state. It will now hold at the International Events Centre, Alagbaka, Akure with the Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar serving as the Chief Returning Officer.

Though the 24 governor- ship aspirants of the party who had gone through various stages of screening said they are set for the election, the dust and bad blood generated by an alleged bid by a national leader of the party to impose his candidate on the party is yet to fully settle.

Already, the governorship primary election screening committee from the party’s headquarters in Abuja arrived the state yesterday and met with the leadership of the party in the state.

There are speculations that the election may be marred by violence considering the leadership crisis rocking the party, with two factions laying claim to the leadership of the party in the state.

Also, security agencies, especially the Police are prepared for the election, as police officers are strategically located in various parts of the state, apparently to prevent breakdown of law and order.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Femi Joseph expressed the readiness of the Police for the election.

He said Police Officers have been positioned in strategic locations in Akure to ensure total security before, during and after the election. He en- joined delegates to the primary election to comport themselves and allow peace to reign during the exercise.

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