A ward chairman of the Ondo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Olumide Awolumate, on Tuesday, has given an an explanation for the fight that broke out between him and Mrs. Juliana Osadahun, the state commissioner for women’s affairs and social development, in Arigidi Akoko, Akoko North-West Local Government Area of the state.
Awolumate and Osadahun engaged in a free-for-all on Sunday during the distribution of palliatives to the people of the local government. The commissioner was allegedly injured in the head during the fracas. Consequently, the state chapter of the party suspended the ward chairman for alleged unruly behaviour.
Speaking about what transpired between the duo, Awolumate claimed that the commissioner and her son, in the company with a police officer and another man, came to his house to arrest him and he never resisted arrest, but the commissioner’s son confronted him, started beating him, and tore his clothes. He said he had to defend himself.
He said, “What happened is that we had a meeting at the local government level, at the house of a leader, Pa Akeju. We talked about the party, in which the commissioner talked about the palliatives that were distributed some time ago.
“The commissioner disclosed that the palliatives had been given to different sectors, and at that juncture, I raised my hand as the ward chairman of the party that the 10 bags that were supposed to be in my custody did not get to me. I noted that some groups had been given, which included the Peoples Democratic Party members, artisans and groups and said ours should be sent to me.
“I raised this in the presence of all the leaders of the party, and the commissioner objected to this, saying she was the head of that committee at the state level, but I objected to my non-inclusion in the sharing of the palliatives, as I was not invited.
“This led to an argument and I was prevailed upon to leave the meeting. I was home with my family playing ludo when I saw the commissioner in the company with her son and a police officer.”
According to him, on getting to his house, the commissioner’s son pounced on him from behind and started hitting him, he defended himself from being attacked in the presence of his wife, children and friends.
“I stood up and fought him back. As I was fighting him, the commissioner joined her son and fought me also. She started beating and tearing my clothes in the process. She carried a chair and threw it at me and in retaliation, I took the chair and threw it back at her,” he narrated.
The state chairman of the party, Mr Ade Adetimehin, said the party had met and discussed the incident and it was decided that Awolumate should be suspended from the party.
The chairman said, “The party will not tolerate any indiscipline. Such an act is an act I condemn in its entirety. The party met on it and the chairman of that ward was suspended. How can you beat a woman? I don’t tolerate it, please. Let it be very loud and clear. No matter the offence of that honourable commissioner, the party must respect a woman.
“Our party is noted for welfare. You can check from all the local governments, nowhere the party was involved. So, the man has been sanctioned,” he added.
All efforts to reach the commissioner proved abortive as she did not pick up her calls nor respond to a text message sent to her as of the time of filing this report.