As the whole world waits patiently for the conduct of the gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections this Saturday, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state has told voters across the 33 Local Government Councils in the state to disregard the threat of violence allegedly coming from the ruling People’s Democratic party (PDP) and ensure that they come out to exercise their voting rights without any fear of attacks or molestation.
Media reports have placed Oyo among the few volatile states where cases of violence and brigandage were expected to mar the conduct of the election while there have been exchange of brickbats among leaders and members of the PDP, APC, Accord and NNPP as they accuse one another of stoking violence ahead of the poll this weekend.
Oyo APC, in a statement issued on Tuesday and made available to journalists in Ibadan by its Publicity Secretary, Olawale Sadare, said it had uncovered a fresh plan by the ruling PDP “to sponsor some notorious miscreants on a mission to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the election in some parts of Ibadan and other major cities having got the clear signal that their candidates, especially Gov. Makinde, cannot survive defeat this time.
“To lend credence to this fresh alarm, Mukaila Lamidi a.k.a Auxiliary, who leads the Oyo PDP militant wing, and his gang members have increased the spate of their riot act to the people of Egbeda, Lagelu, Ibadan North East, Ibadan North, Ona-Ara, Oluyole and other local government councils within and outside Ibadan in the last few weeks and their message has always been that people should either come out to vote the PDP or stay indoor to avoid dire consequences of voting candidates of other political parties.
“As a matter of fact, we have a documented evidence of a secret meeting held at a private facility in Ibadan few days ago where two political appointees currently serving under Gov. Makinde and a leader of the PDP in Ibadan North West local government council handed a script to five ring leaders of a violent gang based in Nalende-Oniyanrin area of Ibadan metropolis. Among those contracted to unleash terror on voters in that axis on Saturday are; Kamo (surname withheld), Oloyo and ‘Saudi’. In Ibadan South East, one Rotimi (a chieftain of the Park Management System) is to coordinate the violent gang which has Fiyin and Apase as members.
“It is also necessary to intimate the general public that collective vigilance would be required at all the polling stations on Saturday so as to disorganize all the disgruntled elements who have been mobilized and equipped to instigate violence where rigging in favour of the PDP is made difficult or impossible. For instance, PDP’s polling agents have been asked to invite their assigned thugs wherever they observe the result would not be in their favour even before sorting of ballot papers while some have been prepared to stuff ballot boxes and trigger a case of over-voting where necessary.
“With all this and many exclusive information available to us, we are urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure strict adherence to the full usage of the BVAS and also avoid conniving with unscrupulous political player to compromise the exercise. More importantly, we are appealing to all security agents as well as polling agents representing other political parties (apart from the PDP) to be alive to their duty on the day of election and ensure that the process is not compromised or sabotaged.” Sadare stated.