Hoodlums suspected to be hirelings of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday attacked and disrupted a gathering of lawyers meeting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, to support Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The lawyers, who are members of “Lawyers for Change,” were organizing a campaign rally for Mr. Buhari at the time of the attack.
A lawyer, Titiloye Charles, told SaharaReporters that the thugs were armed with guns and machetes, and threatened to kill the lawyers if they carried out any rally in the state.
The lawyers were attacked as they gathered in front of the State High Court waiting for their other colleagues before proceeding on the road show.
Two owners of businesses near the court confirmed the incident to our correspondent.
“I saw it,” one of the business owners said. He added, “The lawyers gathered together at the front of the court preparing to move out on the street and canvass for APC. Then a group of boys who were already drunk came and disrupted the gathering.”
Mr. Charles disclosed that, a few days ago, the lawyers had written to the security agencies in the state to notify them of a rally to support the APC.
“The thugs just came in from nowhere and unleashed terror on our members while we were waiting for others to join us. They disrupted the procession which was about starting,” said Mr. Charles. He added, “our democracy is under threat if lawyers cannot openly associate and express themselves or have a say during the election.”
The lawyer continued, “Everyday, as the election draws near, the ruling PDP’s desperation increases. And our security agents watch helplessly.”
The police in the state were reluctant to speak on the record about the attack. However, an officer at the state command told our correspondent that the incident “will be investigated and culprits brought to book.”