A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bunmi Ojo was gruesomely murdered by unknown gunmen in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, thereby putting the state on the spot again.
Ojo, who was until his death a Commissioner of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), was shot at about8:30 p.m. at a viewing centre located along Ado-Iworoko road.
Ojo, a personal assistant to the state’s former governor, Segun Oni between 2007 and 2010, was murdered alongside two other persons at the viewing centre, bringing the number of the victims to three.
In a swift reaction yesterday, however, Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose blamed the APC for what he described as the breach of peace the state had been experiencing since 2014.
But the state’s governor-elect, Kayode Fayemi and APC National Vice Chairman (South-west), Bankole Oluwajana condemned the killing, tasking the Ekiti State Police Command to bring the perpetrators to book.
Different accounts revealed that Ojo had gone to the viewing centre to watch an opening match of the European Premier League between Manchester United FC and Leicester City FC in company of his political friends before tragedy struck.
One of the accounts claimed that the gunmen, numbering six, invaded the centre and shot sporadically at the targets in the midst of the football enthusiasts, leaving three dead after the operation.
Another account added that Ojo was shot in the head and stomach while his body had been deposited at the morgue of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti.
The account said the tragic incident had thrown Oni’s camp into mourning and confusion, noting that many had started giving it political meaning to the gruesome murder of a staunch loyalist of the former governor.
It revealed that Ojo was preparing to contest the 2019 federal legislative election in the House of Representatives in Ekiti North Federal Constituency II.
The account said: “This killing had fueled the insinuation that Ojo’s death must have been politically motivated. He had aspiration and he had made contacts to his group. Already, his group had begun underground works.”
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Mr. Lere Olayinka, Fayose condoled with the families, friends and political associates of the deceased, praying that God in His infinite mercies would console and uphold his wife and children.
He said: “The manner in which Ojo, a commissioner in the Federal Character Commission and strong ally of Segun Oni was killed is a demonstration of the extent some devilish people can go to settle scores with their fellows. The security agencies must not add this gruesome murder to the diary of unresolved murders in Nigeria.
“The state was peaceful until May 5, 2018 when members of the APC openly disrupted the party’s primary election, with gunshots. This was after Olalekan Taiwo, aide of one of the APC governorship aspirant, Mr. Oluwole Oluleye had been shot on May 4.
“The violence at the APC primaries was followed up by the shootings at the party secretariat during a reception organised for Fayemi, which left Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele and six others injured as well as invasion of the state with thugs during the July 14 governorship election.”
Fayemi, in a statement by his Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wole Olujobi, noted that the killing of the late politician was a sad commentary that shattered the relative peace the state had enjoyed after the election.
The governor-elect commiserated with the family of the late politician, thereby charging all security agencies “to get to the root of the killing and bring those behind the killing to justice.
“This is a sad development that should not be allowed to go away without getting to the root of this killing. However, the public must give security agencies chance to do their job and get to the root of this sad development.”