Presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, and his band of supporters were victims of a tear gas attack during his visit to the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwusi, on Monday, September 10, 2018.
The aspirant and national chairman of the Africa Action Congress (AAC) travelled to Ile-Ife, Osun State, on Monday on a courtesy visit to the monarch but was kept waiting with his supporters for three hours. The monarch reportedly showed up around 3:00 pm even though the meeting was scheduled for 12:00 pm.
According to a report by Premium Times, Sowore and his protesters protested the delay and initially refused to prostrate to the monarch as is tradition.
This led to a tear gas being fired inside the reception hall, by a yet-to-be-identified person, with Sowore’s supporters running outside for fresh air. Ooni Ogunwusi himself was seated in the hall with his chiefs when the tear gas canister was fired.
Calm was later restored as Sowore and his party members later gathered and greeted the Ooni in the traditional way.
The Ooni was choking – Sowore
Explaining what happened in a video broadcast after the meeting, Sowore said the tear gas was fired by somebody out of anger and claimed that the king was also affected.
He said, “Somebody out of anger, while we were protesting the delay visited upon us, set a teargas into the hall where we were meeting with the Ooni.
“The Ooni was practically choking. He said this has never happened before. I’m not new to tear gas, but I’m new to conduct of that nature inside the palace.”
You shoould exercise patience, Ooni tells Sowore
While speaking after the tear gas event, Ooni Ogunwusi cautioned Sowore to always exercise patience as a leader.
He said, “Leadership is like a dumping ground, people throw different things at you. Some throw good things,some throw bad things. In the course of leading, you’re going to meet brilliant people and half baked brains too. You’ve to be patient with them.”
After the meeting, Sowore posted on his social media that he and his supporters were safe and proceeded to the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) to address students some of whom had also accompanied him to the palace.