A statement signed by Biodun Oduwole, on behalf of the Board of Directors of Western Publishing Company Limited, the publishers of the newspaper, said that a police security detail that was traveling with him was also hurt.
Kawonise, who is a former Commissioner for Information in Ogun State, was returning from Awka where he had gone to present a Keynote Address at the 17th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Anthropological and Sociological Association and where he was presented with a Distinguished Sociologist Award by the association.
“He was in a convoy of two vehicles when the vehicle in which he was travelling was suddenly ambushed at the Ikeji-Arakeji junction shortly after Akure at about 8.30pm,” the statement said.
“Sporadic gunfire from men hidden by the roadside was unleashed on the two vehicles and Mr Kawonise and the policeman seated with the driver in front of the vehicle were hit by bullets. They were immediately rushed to a private hospital from where the policeman was transferred to the Wesley Guild Hospital Ilesha for surgery.”
Mr Kawonise was this morning transferred to the University College Hospital, Ibadan, where he was admitted and had surgery.
“We do not know the motive of the attackers of Mr Kawonise but he recently received threats to his person from some unknown Internet messengers,” the statement said.
Expressing gratitude to God that no lives were lost in the attack, the Board of Directors assured all Nigerians that the Nigerian Compass, under the management leadership of Mr Kawonise, “will not fight shy of its social responsibility and it’s crusading pact with the Nigerian people.”