Pandemonium broke out on Sunday at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta when members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) descended heavily on members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) in Ogun state over a banner allegedly belonging to the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Ladi Adebutu.
Trouble started when one of the journalists, Segun Folarin of Radio Nigeria in preparation for the ongoing SWAN-SECURITY Cup, organized by the Sports Writers was placing the pitch panels produced for branding the stadium for the match of the day.
The pitch panels, which form part of the sponsor’s insignia at the ongoing SWAN/Security Cup were later destroyed by the hoodlums.
Sighting one of the sponsor’s panels with the inscription LADO GROUP, the irate APC mob pounced on the Radio Nigeria correspondent.
While the show of shame was ongoing, another journalist, Soliu Owoyabu was filming the incident.
The APC thugs shifted attention and pounced on Owoyabu beating him to a stupor.
Owoyabu said that he and other colleagues decided to start placing the pitch panels at half time of the Dapo Abiodun Cup organized by the Local government to save time for the Semi-final match between Nigeria Customs and TRACE Corp scheduled for 2 pm.
“I was at the spectators stand when I saw them attacking Mr. Folarin. Immediately I took out my phone at one corner filming the incident, one of them just came and took my phone to the crowd. Efforts to retrieve my phone from the guy, other supporters adorning Afoo face cap descended on me and beat me mercilessly.
“They said I must have been a PDP member sent to disturb their competition. They seized my phone, tore my clothes, and publicly assaulted me until I had to run for my dear life”, Owoyabu narrated.
Also, Olusegun Folarin of Paramount FM added that the irate hoodlums were instigated by one of the party leaders in the Local government, Chief Niyi Edun who instructed the party members to beat the journalists.
Edun who claimed the stadium belonged to APC personally directed that the journalists be beaten, insisting that no other insignia of another party or candidates must be seen.
All pleas by the SWAN Secretary, Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji that, the pitch panel was not for the supposed opposition party’s candidate went on deaf air as the APC members pounced on the SWAN Scribe.
They accused the SWAN Secretary of writing negative news against the former Commissioner for Local Government in the state, Hon. Afolabi Afuape and former Commissioner for Youths Sports, Hon. Kehinde Oludare.
An unidentified APC was quoted as saying, “you are supposed to be beaten to naked. You are the one that wrote story against our leader Afoo, you’re the one opposition using to tarnish the image of our leader and the governor. We will not allow you to leave this stadium alive”.
When contacted for the position of the association, the SWAN Secretary’s mobile phone was unreachable as at press time.
Our reporter who was at the stadium saw the vandalized pitch panels of other sponsors including that of Ogun state government.