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Nigeria: 2 Killed, 7 Injured As Violence Erupts in Ogun

Kola Adepoju

TWO persons were feared dead and seven others injured yesterday when violence engulfed Imeko headquarters of Afon Imeko local council of Ogun State over reinstatement of suspended council chairman.

The suspended council boss, Alhaji Sakariyau Isiaka Adetunji, was reinstated by the state government.

The sleepy Imeko town which is also the headquarters of Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) Worldwide turned into a battle ground at exactly 10.17 a.m. when supporters of the acting chairman of the council, Chief Israel Adegbite barricaded the local government secretariat and prevented the reinstated chairman from having access to his office.

Consequently, attempt by some policemen from Imeko police station and supporters of Adetunji to pave way for the reinstated chairman into the secretariat met stiff resistance which degenerated into a bloody clash.

While the policemen beat a retreat based on Adetunji's plea for calm and peace, his supporters who are mostly indigenes of Imeko, his home town, engaged loyalists of his opponent who is from Afon in a fierce battle.

The clash during which charms, cudgels, bottles and dane guns were freely used forced Adetunji who was heading for the local government secretariat to retreat, after which he took cover at Imeko police station and later at an undisclosed location also in Imeko.

Our correspondent who witnessed the incident which paralysed business activities till press time as well as other journalists narrowly escaped attack.

Those wounded were immediately rushed to General Hospital, Imeko for treatment while remains of the dead were taken to an undisclosed morgue to avoid aggravating tension.

Though the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Imeko police station could not be reached for comment, Alhaji Adetunji described the news of the death of two persons as unfortunate, saying, "I have done all my best to save this situation".

He blamed the situation on the activities of some chieftains of the PDP who he alleged masterminded opposition to his reinstatement by Governor Gbenga Daniel.

But the acting chairman, who incidentally was Adetunji's deputy prior to his suspension, described his (Adetunji's) reinstatement as illegal because there was no official letter from government to that affect.

Adegbite who was seen in the local government chairman's official car said he is still in charge as he has not been directed to vacate the seat by the government.

The Commissioner for Local Government, Alhaji Fatai Olayode who announced Adetunji reinstatement on behalf of the government could not be reached for comments.

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