Some thugs loyal to Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, on Wednesday descended on The PUNCH Correspondent in Ekiti State, Kamarudeen Ogundele, beating him to stupor while on official duty.
The thugs, who continued to lay siege to the House of Assembly Complex and all roads leading to the state capital, attacked him around noon on Bank Road, very close to a road-block mounted by the police near the Assembly complex.
He had gone to gauge the mood in town when the thugs descended on him for trying to take the picture of women praying for peace in the state, about 200 metres away from the Assembly complex.
Many of the loyalists of the governor and members of the Peoples Democratic Party lined up all the major streets leading to the complex to prevent the 19 APC lawmakers from gaining entry to the assembly to actualise their move to impeach Fayose.
His dress was torn into shreds by the hoodlums who were angry with him for taking picture after seizing his phone.
He said, “I was about leaving the place when I saw the women praying for peace to reign in the state. I felt it was a spiritual approach to the trouble in the state, so I decided to take the picture. The thugs emerged from their hideouts and swooped on me.
“I kept shouting ‘I’m a journalist’ but they did not show me mercy as they pounced on me. They were like 50 persons kicking me all at the same time. They dragged me out of the car and continued hitting me. At a time, one of them went to carry a big plank of wood in an attempt to hit my head.
“Two policemen raced to the scene to intervene but they were overwhelmed by the mob. One of the policemen started shouting, ‘run, run, run, don’t let them kill you!’ I thought the end had come because they continued beating me. Luckily for me, a few among them felt they had beaten me enough and started fighting their colleagues to let me go. I capitalised on their disagreement and with the help of the police, I quickly escaped.”
The governor later called one of the leaders of the Nigerian Union of Journalist in the state to apologise for his supporters’ action. He also expressed regret over the mob action.
While condemning the incident, Fayose said the action of the overzealous men should not be taken for action of his government.
He assured journalists that they would be guaranteed freedom to discharge their duties without fear or favour in the state, and without intimidation from any quarter.
Meanwhile, riot policemen took over the Efon Alaaye, the border town of Ekiti State with Osun State, where some supporters of the PDP had prevented free vehicular movement on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the state Chairman of the PDP, Chief Idowu Faleye, has said the insistence of the 19 APC lawmakers to impeach Fayose would definitely affect their political future in the state.