The cold war between Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola and his Ondo State counterpart, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), may soon escalate following the attack on the Osun State Commissioner for Regional Integration, Mr. Bola Ilori, in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Ilori, who is an indigene of Ondo town and a serving commissioner in Osun State, was attacked by some hoodlums in Akure on Thursday during an All Progressives Congress meeting on restructuring.
Reacting to the attack on Ilori, , Aregbesola in a statement issued by his media aide, Mr. Sola Fasure, described the alleged attack as barbaric, saying it was an indirect attack on the people of Osun State, who Ilori represented at the forum.
The governor’s aide claimed that Ilori was exposed to danger by “some top government officials,” who had some issues with him, saying they failed to protect him and other delegates from Osun State.
Aregbesola’s media aide also described as undiplomatic the statement credited to the Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Yemi Olowolabi, who accused the Osun delegates as aggressors, who came to the venue with the aim of disrupting the meeting.
Fasure said, “The statement credited to Hon. Yemi Olowolabi that ‘what happened is sad but avoidable. It is apparent the Osun delegates came prepared with thugs, charms, ammunition and cudgels to an event which was supposed to be an all-APC event’ was highly undiplomatic and not expected from a commissioner of that status.
“This state of affairs was far from the truth as Olowolabi made people to believe. The Osun delegates simply went armed with their intellect to marshal the position of the state.
“Why would a delegate go with dangerous objects to a conference on restructuring when Ondo and Osun are not at war or in confrontation over any issue?
“Ilori represented the government and people of Osun. Therefore, he deserved to be accorded the courtesy and respect due to the state. He deserved to be protected by the government of Ondo State as well as security agencies at the venue of the conference.
“All these safety measures were not put in place. Rather Hon. Ilori was exposed to attack by some top government official, who reportedly had axe to grind with Ilori over election matters in the state.
“The attack on Ilori is barbaric and reprehensible, to say the least. It is no doubt an attack on the entire people and Government of Osun State, whom Ilori represented at the meeting. We condemn in strong terms this affront on the people and Government of Osun State, which the attack on our delegate signposted.”
Ilori was the Director General of the campaign organisation of Olusola Oke, who defected from the APC to become the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy during the governorship election which Akeredolu eventually won.