On Friday, June 1, 2018, a police officer
A former House of Representatives member, Opeyemi Bamidele, was hit by some of the bullets from the officer’s gun.
Bamidele suffered gunshot injuries in his abdomen and legs during what was a campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.
After the incident, Ekiti police spokesperson Caleb Ikechukwu disclosed that the policeman accidentally shot Hon Bamidele and five others at the rally.
Fayemi is running for Governor of Ekiti in the July 14 election on the platform of the APC.
PDP was first blamed for the shooting
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was first blamed for the Ekiti shooting.
As news of the shooting spread across social media, APC supporters were made to believe that the shooter was specifically instructed by Ekiti Governor Ayodele Fayose to assassinate Fayemi.
APC Chairman in Ekiti, Jide Awe, told Channels Television immediately after the incident that the shooting was an attack targeted at Fayemi.
"When he shot at the crowd, I believe sincerely that he (the police officer) aimed at Dr Kayode Fayemi but narrowly, he (Fayemi) was pushed by somebody walking behind him.
"Opeyemi Bamidele was equally very near him and the shot hit him. But I can say authoritatively that he’s not badly hit, and he is recovering as we are talking," Awe said.
Why is the run up to Ekiti governorship election this violent?
Incumbent Governor of Ekiti, Fayose, won’t have his name on the ballot come July 14, but he has anointed a successor in Prof. Kolapo Olusola Eleka, who tells everyone who cares to listen that he looks up to Fayose, his “mentor and leader”.
Fayemi was governor of Ekiti from October 16, 2010 to October 15, 2014.
On June 21, 2014, Fayose defeated Fayemi in all 16 local governments of Ekiti to emerge governor of the Southwest State.
The forthcoming governorship election in Ekiti is essentially Fayemi trying to reclaim the throne he lost to Fayose in 2014. However, Fayose is having none of it.
The vocal governor has warned Fayemi that he’ll be thoroughly beaten again in July.
How is Bamidele doing now?
Opeyemi Bamidele who suffered gunshot injuries during the APC rally last Friday, has been flown to Lagos in a chopper for better medical care.
Reports say he's recuperating nicely.
The chopper which airlifted Bamidele to Lagos bore registration number 5N-BSW and belongs to Flying Doctors Nigeria.
The chopper arrived at the Christ’s School, Ado Ekiti at about 3 p.m on Sunday.
Bamidele’s spokesperson, Ahmed Salami, announced that his principal is now in stable condition.
“We want to assure our teeming supporters to discountenance the misinformation by rumour peddlers that his health had relapsed,” Salami said.
He added that Bamidele “was in a stable condition and people were already having unfettered access to him at EKSUTH (Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital) before he left for Lagos.
“Dr. Fayemi , Dr. Wole Oluleye , Barrister Victor Kolade and several other bigwigs in APC circle including ordinary members of his party were allowed access to him on the sick bed confirming the appreciable level of his stability before being allowed to be taken out of the state”.
So, who was behind Ekiti shooting?
A politician who belongs to the APC has been named as being behind the shooting. The politician has been arrested.
According to the police, it was this politician who plucked the police officer from Lagos to Ekiti on the day of the APC rally.
According to police spokesperson Ikechukwu, the policeman who pulled the trigger is “attached to 20 PMF, Ikeja, Lagos State where he was posted on bank guard duties somewhere in Ikeja. The policeman came on illegal duty to Ekiti State.
“A politician, who conspired and removed the said policeman from where he was posted by his squadron Commander and came to Ado-Ekiti with him for an unofficial reason, has also been arrested.”
Who is this APC politician behind the shooting?
The politician’s name has been given as Tayo Adebiyi.
Adebiyi is a House of Representatives’ aspirant on the platform of the APC. He is still in the custody of the police at the time of filing this report.
The police say he will be charged before a court of competent jurisdiction.
Ekiti APC Chairman Awe, according to Premium Times, “described Mr Adebiyi as an unknown party man in Ekiti, and accused him of hiring the policeman to kill Mr Fayemi and other chieftains of the party to destabilise APC”.
Adebiyi explains why he brought trigger happy police officer to Ekiti
However, the Director General of the Tayo Adebiyi Campaign Organisation, David Ayeni, told journalists in Ado Ekiti that his principal brought the police officer to Ekiti to deal with the spate of kidnapping along Efon-Iwaraja-Erinmo in recent times.
“The accidental discharge that occurred during the APC Friday rally was as a result of a struggle that ensued between the mobile policeman and some unknown thugs that invaded the venue of the rally. The incident happened while he was trying to maintain law and order at the venue.
“There is no iota of truth in the news flying around the social media that the mobile police was hired for the purpose of assassination of the APC candidate, whom Adebiyi has been up and down promoting through political campaigns and advertisements since year 2014”, Ayeni said.
So, why was Fayose and PDP first blamed for the shooting?
Awe said Fayose was blamed because he spoke so soon after the incident.
According to Awe, “we have not indicted the Ekiti State government, but the manner at 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 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 a 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”, he said.
Immediately after the shooting, Fayose had said: "Fayemi is having all these challenges because of his desperation. It is instructive that there was chaos at the APC primary election and his return to Ekiti today brought bloodshed to a once peaceful Ekiti State. Those whom the gods want to destroy, they first make mad”.
Fayose also says there’s a sinister plan by the APC to frame him up in future
What has become of the police officer who pulled the trigger?
Commissioner of police in Ekiti, Bello Ahmed, told ChannelsTV that the erring police officer has been dismissed from the Force.
He said, “The policeman involved is dismissed already and even though he’s nursing some injury; at the appropriate time, he will face the law of course.
“Nigerians will be briefed on the outcome of our actions,” he added.
CP Ahmed also maintained that the incident stemmed from an accidental discharge.
“It is not true (that it was an assassination attempt). We should not be making politics out of situations.
“I believe it was an accidental discharge because no right-thinking policeman will cork and start shooting.
“He might have corked his rifle before arriving that scene and you know how crowded political activities are always.
“I believe as the campaign was almost finishing, he might have touched the trigger that pulled out the bullet,” the CP explained.