The Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress on Saturday dismissed the claims by the police that the Friday shooting of five of its members at the rally organised for its governorship candidate, Kayode Fayemi, in Ado Ekiti, was accidental discharge.
While blaming the police for the security lapses, the party said it has suspended electioneering campaigns until the police are able to guarantee adequate security during the campaigns.
A former member of the House of Representatives and governorship aspirant, Opeyemi Bamidele, and four others were shot at the rally by a policeman, whose intentions are yet to be fully established.
Mr Fayemi, who was standing by Mr Bamidele, narrowly escaped being hit by the bullet.
However, all the injured persons are said to be in a stable condition.
The police earlier on Saturday told journalists that the officer was not fake, but was attached to Mopol 20 in Lagos, and was on illegal duty at the rally.
The police spokesman, Caleb Ikechukwu, said a politician who hired the policeman and brought him to the rally in Ekiti had also been arrested. He refused to name the politician.
But speaking to journalists in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, the chairman of the party in the state, Jide Awe, alleged that the police were to be blamed for allowing a policeman from another state provide security at the campaign rally.
Mr Awe also blamed the police for granting the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, the permission to hold a separate rally with commercial motorcyclists after permitting the party to hold its rally the same day.
He said the action by the police was capable of igniting crisis in the state.
Mr Awe insisted that the attack was a well contrived assassination attempt on its candidate and the hierarchy of the party.
Mr Awe stated that the party was not convinced by the claim of the police that it was a case of accidental discharge.
“We raise serious doubt over police investigation claiming that it was a case of accidental discharge,” he said.
“The police must convince us that the policeman, who fired the shot is not fake. They claimed that he came from MOPOL 20 in Lagos. What was a policeman from Lagos doing in our rally? What was his mission and who was his principal?
“We are still maintaining our stand that it was an assassination plot on our candidate, because the shooting came from a close range to where Dr. Fayemi was.
“The police must get to the root of where this emanated from. Lives were involved and our people were hit, so we can’t fold our arms and be watching.
“That is why we are suspending our rallies pending the time the police is able to convince us that they are going to be strict with permissions for campaigns. We don’t want PDP to hide under any clash campaign to unleash terror on our people,”
He, however, clarified that although the party had no evidence that the Ekiti State governor was complicit, “the manner in which Governor Fayose conducted himself gave room for suspicion.”
“Before the incident, Governor Fayose told okada riders and the people of Ikere Ekiti not to welcome Dr Fayemi to Ekiti,” he explained.
“When the incident occurred, the state government was the first to issue press statement reading meanings to the shooting. What was their concern about shooting in APC’s rally?
“All these issues prompted us to say that the PDP government was involved. Let me also clarify that we are not working at cross purposes with the police, but our approaches may be different.
“Our claim was that the man who fired the shot was fake policeman and a paid agent with a mission to kill our governorship candidate and the police said he was from MOPOL 20 but on illegal duty in Ekiti.
“So, what the police need now is to convince us about the veracity of their claim.”