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Violence in Ekiti as gubernatorial aspirant is murdered

Posted by By FEMI BABAFEMI, Muyiwa Oyinlola, Lagos, MUYIWA ODU, Ado-Ekiti on 2006/08/19 | Views: 754 |

Violence in Ekiti as gubernatorial aspirant is murdered

Another governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, Dr Ayodele Daramola was assassinated in his Ijan Ekiti country home in the early hours of Monday.

Another governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, Dr Ayodele Daramola was assassinated in his Ijan Ekiti country home in the early hours of Monday.

The assassination of 52-year-old Daramola came barely three weeks after the murder by yet unknown killers of Lagos governorship aspirant, Funsho Williams.

The Harvard-trained Ph.D holder in Food Technology left his plum job at the World Bank in June this year to contest the Ekiti State governorship election in 2007. That dream was, however, cut short at about 1a.m. on Monday when 12 armed men forced their way into his bedroom in his newly built expansive mansion in Ijan, in the Gboyin Local Government Area of Ekiti, stabbed him severally and slit his throat.

The murder immediately drew the anger of youths in Ekiti, who stormed the streets burning vehicles and houses of PDP leaders including the home of the state PDP chairman, Chief Ropo Adesanya.
Adesanya’s residence in Ijan and two cars in his garage were set ablaze by the mob.
Six houses and several vehicles were said to have been torched before the police succeeded in driving the irate youths off the streets.

Tension was further heightened in the state when a former chairman of Ado Ekiti Local Government Chairman, Mr Taye Fasuba was allegedly ambushed by two assailants suspected to be members of the gang that killed Daramola in Odo-Ado area of the state capital. The former council boss was, however, saved by residents who swooped on his attackers after he raised alarm.
Daramola was said to have travelled to Ekiti last Saturday on the invitation of the state PDP chairman, Chief Ropo Adesanya.

At the time of his murder, he was in his Ijan home with some relations, while his wife, Kehinde and four children were in their Gbagada, Lagos home, waiting to travel to London on Monday morning.
The trip was, however, stalled when the news of the murder was broken by family members who thronged their house to console the bereaved family. Amidst tears, the widow declared that the murder of her husband was a sacrifice too grievous for the family to make for Ekiti State.

According to a friend of Daramola who craved for anonymity, the aspirant returned to Lagos from Ekiti last Friday and soon after called his friends that he was returning to Ekiti the next day on the invitation of Chief Adesanya who allegedly invited him for an important meeting.

The source further said the aspirant returned to Ekiti based on the invitation. After visiting his country home in Ijan at about 3p.m., he returned to the state capital, Ado Ekiti for a political meeting at about 4p.m same Saturday only to return into the waiting arms of about 12 gunmen who forced their way into his bedroom at about 1a.m on Monday.

The source said the deceased still spoke with her at about 11.30p.m on Sunday night to intimate her and other friends in Lagos about his movements, efforts and decisions in pursuit of his political ambition.
"So when I heard this morning that he was dead, I went blank because it sounded unbelievable. I never knew the man I was speaking with yesternight (Sunday night) would be dead two hours later," the source stated.

Though Daramola was said to have begun open campaigns on the platform of the PDP in Ekiti, there are, however, reports that as at the time of his death, he was yet to formally register with the party.
Meanwhile, the State Governor, Ayodele Fayose has promised to give anyone with useful information on the assassination N5 million, even as police authorities were said to have despatched forensic experts to Ekiti to take available evidence at the scene of the crime and launched a manhunt for the killers.
Armed mobile policemen were also said to have quelled the early morning riot that broke out in Ijan Ekiti while they continued their patrol of the streets in the town, few kilometres away from the state capital to forestall any further uprising.

An initial detachment of policemen which went to the town early in the day was overwhelmed by the extent of violence and had to call for reinforcement after which truck-loads of mobile policemen arrived the town firing teargas canisters and live bullets into the air to disperse the rampaging youths.
Addressing newsmen at the government house in Ado – Ekiti, Fayose expressed worry and concern on the conduct of some characters who, he said, did not see anything good in his administration and the ruling party.

According to him, "These people for now have mounted mindless and ferocious battles of violent dimensions in this state."
The governor described the slain Daramola as a "fine gentleman, astute, intelligent and a lover of the progress of Ekiti State.
"He was the first project manager of the Ekiti State community-based poverty reduction agency from the scratch to the limelight."

Fayose, however, said that no stone would left unturned in saving Ekiti State from what he described as "evil, callous and barbaric machinations of some people."
He announced that President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Inspector General of Police and other echelon of security agencies were already aware of the unfortunate incident.

"As I speak to you today, all hands are on deck to unravel the identities of these cowardly murderers whoever and wherever they are," he added.
He said: "I sincerely commiserate with the family of Dr. Ayodele Daramola at this dark moment and with the good people of Ijan-Ekiti and the entire people of Gbonyin Local Government Area."

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Comments (9)

Kim Worley(Greeley, Colorado, US)says...

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...