A former member of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Afolabi Iwalewa, and the current caretaker chairman of Irele Local Government, Gbadebo Odimayo, were among several other people injured on Saturday during the local government congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo state.
It was learnt that trouble started when the leader of the party in the area and Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Emmanuel Igbasan, allegedly led some hoodlums to the venue of the congress.
Iwalewa said members had assembled at the party secretariat in readiness for the exercise but latter learnt that the congress would not hold.
The former lawmaker said Igbasan and some other leaders insisted that the current executives of the party at the local government level should continue in office while majority of members wanted an elective congress.
“They invaded the party secretariat with hoodlums numbering 30 and started shooting sporadically into the air to scare away people while some people were beaten to coma,” he said.
Iwalewa said the presence of security operatives could not save him as the hoodlums inflicted injuries on him.
He was said to have been rescued by policemen who took him away from the scene of the incident in their Hilux van.
Odimayo also alleged that Igbasan was the mastermind of the violence, saying the commissioner and members of his group were not ready for elective congress.
The council chairman said he left the place unhurt because most of the thugs knew him and could not beat him.
He said: “But the thugs warned me and asked me to leave the venue immediately of the congress immediately.
“My special Assistant is critically lying in the hospital now. A supervisor in the local government was also beaten to coma.”
But Igbasan denied the allegations, describing them as “unfounded and far from the truth”.
The commissioner, who also accused Iwalewa and Odimayo of disrupting the congress, said there was no attempt to impose the current executives on members.
“I was addressing the party members at the secretariat when Odimayo and some hoodlums invaded the venue and disrupted the whole exercise.
“I left the venue because of the charged atmosphere for my house with some party leaders. I invited Odimayo to a meeting with a view to finding a solution to the crisis but I was surprised to see hoodlums invading my house despite the presence of security operatives.
“There was no plan to impose the current executives. There would not be need to address the party members if we planned to impose the executives. It was a white lie and figment of their imagination,” he said.