Ondo State witnessed chaos and violence over the distribution of palliatives aimed at mitigating the impact of the government’s removal of fuel subsidies. The incident unfolded over the weekend in Arigidi Akoko, located in Akoko North West Local Government Area of the state, and resulted in a prominent government official being brutally assaulted.
Reports indicate that the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development in Ondo State, and a native of Arigidi Akoko, Dr. (Mrs.) Bunmi Osadahun, became the center of the controversy. She was reportedly attacked by leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the area.
Tensions flared when APC leaders from Arigidi Akoko accused government officials of conducting the palliative distribution secretly, alleging that Commissioner Osadahun had marginalized them in the allocation of relief supplies. The situation escalated, culminating in a shocking and violent altercation.
A video circulating on social media captured the intense exchange between Commissioner Osadahun and a man who viciously attacked her with a chair. The assailant has been identified as Olumide Awolumate, the Ward Chairman of the APC in Arigidi.
Local sources have pointed to an inequitable distribution of palliatives as the root cause of the conflict, with many residents expressing frustration over the process. Some even chose to boycott the distribution altogether, further exacerbating the tensions in the community.
A witness said, “The man was trying to smash the chair on the Commissioner’s head while Osadahun has been inflicted with wounds on her face and head.”
”Immediately this happened, some young boys loyal to the commissioner also descended on the attacker and dealt with him.”
Another insider revealed that Awolumate had allegedly vowed to disgrace the female commissioner by excluding her from the list of beneficiaries receiving federal government palliatives.
Reports indicate that the Commissioner sustained injuries, with visible bruises on her face and body, necessitating her immediate hospitalization for treatment.
However, in an additional video, the man accused of assaulting Commissioner, Awolumate provided his own account of the incident, attempting to clarify the circumstances surrounding the altercation.
“I was assaulted in my house by the power-drunk Commissioner for Women Affairs with her son in the presence of a police officer.
“Today I was in my house relaxing when the Commissioner came with her son, one other boy, and a police officer.
“The police officer told me they needed my attention at the station in Oke Agbe, and before I could respond, the commissioner pounced on me, tore my clothes, and the Commissioner also joined in beating me.
“The Police officer is still here, and I have resisted arrest, and I don’t know why they had to descend on me to hand me such treatment.”
It was reported that the female Commissioner promptly notified the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) about the incident.
Despite multiple attempts to contact Osadahun for her statement, all efforts proved futile. However, her daughter, Dr. (Mrs.) Jumoke Bakare, confirmed that her mother was hospitalized following the assault.
She said, ”My mother is in the hospital; she can’t talk with you now. She’s resting.”
Furthermore, an anonymous aide of Osadahun mentioned that she had been advised to rest at the hospital and would address inquiries once she has recovered.
As of now, neither the state government nor the ruling party in Ondo State has issued an official response to this incident.
It’s worth noting that the state government initiated the distribution of palliatives to vulnerable households last week, with commissioners overseeing the process in their respective localities.
The State Commissioner for Information, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, had previously reassured the public that the food relief efforts were intended for the designated beneficiaries. Approximately 1,200 bags of rice were slated for distribution among 6,000 households in the council area, with emphasis placed on reaching various sectors of the population, including religious groups, market women, traders’ associations, and others, rather than being tied to party-related matters.
Authorities in Ondo State are now faced with the task of restoring calm and investigating the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate incident.