Bola Ilori, the Osun state commissioner for regional integration, was reportedly beaten up by suspected political thugs in Ondo state, on Thursday.
Ilori was attending the zonal meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) committee on restructuring, at the International Event Centre, Akure, when the incident took place.
It was learnt that the commissioner was assaulted when he left the hall to speak with journalists.
Eyewitnesses told PUNCH the thugs accused the commissioner of belonging to Alliance for Democracy (AD) before they descended on him.
Segun Ajiboye, chief press secretary to Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo, and some security personnel, were said to have intervened and rescued the commissioner from the thugs.
Speaking with journalists after the incident, Ilori alleged that Sunday Abegunde, secretary to the Ondo state government, sent the thugs to assault him.
“We came here in the interest of the nation, the party calls for opinion of the people on restructuring we have done our presentation and there was no problem, only for the thugs of Abegunde, the SSG to come and harass me,” the commissioner said.
“If I have come here today alone, it would have been another thing. It is the SSG, Sunday Abegunde, that sent them.”
But Yemi Olowolabi, Ondo commissioner for information, denied Ilori’s claims.
“The Osun people came here with thugs, they came with charms and dangerous weapons. Why were people from Ekiti not attacked? It was very clear that they were here to cause trouble,” Owolabi said.
“We are peace-loving people in Ondo State, many people have spoken before him, there was no problem, he was not the one to speak for Osun state but tactically took over the microphone and spoke.
“After the incident, he even thanked his ‘army’ that they proved that they can defend themselves.”