The Joint Legal, Media and Security Committee of the Osun State Governorship Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party has raised the alarm over an alleged planned violence and compromise of the July governorship election in the state by the All Progressives Congress.
In a press conference addressed by the committee on Tuesday in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, the PDP accused the APC of having “three evil agenda” ahead of the July 16 governorship poll, “whose”, it claimed, “implementation has started going by recent sad developments in the state.”
The press statement, which was signed by the Senator Ademola Adeleke Campaign Organisation’s Chairman, Legal Committee, Niyi Owolade, and Chairman, Media And Strategy Committee, Prince Diran Odeyemi, partly read, “We are here to list emerging time bombs the state chapter of the All Progressive Congress is planting to pre-determine the outcome of the forthcoming polls and deny suffering masses of Osun State the constitutionally guaranteed rights to select their Governor under a free and fair electoral process.
“Our press briefing is focusing on three evil agenda of the APC whose implementation has started going by recent sad developments in the state. These include direct violence on (the) PDP leaders and supporters, appointment of a compromised State Returning Officer in person of the Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, and deployment of ill-gotten wealth to buy votes and compromise the electoral architecture.
“At a time the PDP is mobilising the people of the state for mass participation, we regret to announce that the APC is preoccupied with how to kill, maim and rig the election under an advanced anti-people agenda.”
The party accused the APC in the state of using members of the Amotekun Corps to attack and kill supporters of the PDP.
“In the last three weeks, (the) APC has embarked on systematic attacks on (the) PDP supporters using the Amotekun operatives. This violent agenda reached a peak few days ago with the gruesome killing in cold blood of Akinpelu Kasim and Waheed Adebayo, and shooting of Adesina Opeyemi, innocent citizens, who were shot dead by some Amotekun Corps (officers) on Tuesday 14th June, 2022, around 9am at Asoje Area, Osogbo, Osun State.
“It is regrettable that the Amotekun Security Outfit established for the purpose of strengthening regional security of boundaries to curb the activities of bandits, kidnappers, terrorists, etc. has now become a tool of oppression and attack in the hands of some desperate politicians of the ruling Party in Osun State, the APC, launching offensive weapons and dangerous ammunition to intimidate, oppress and harass members of the PDP in Osun State so as to desperately have their way in the coming Osun Governorship election in less than 30days from now,” the PDP said in the press conference.
The party further alleged that officers of the Amotekun Corps were providing cover for “the APC political thugs and move around with the said thugs to intimidate and oppress especially members of the PDP, but this has now degenerated to shooting at and killing of innocent citizens. The identified Amotekun Corps are (1)Tajudeen Adeleke (2)Azeez Tirimisiyu (3) Adeoye Lateef (4) Nafisat (5) Olawuyi Opeyemi (5) Odelade Adetayo (6) Adegbesan Adebayo (7) Idowu Fatai (7) Ajiboye Oluwaseun (8) Afolabi Peter (9) Ayobami Obaluwa.
“A notorious thug, masquerading as chieftain of National Union of Road Transport Workers in the State, Asiri Eniba and his squad are the major tools of the violent attacks, but the dimension introduced to it by the Osun State Command of the South West Security Outfit called the Amotekun is worrisome, insulting, offensive and criminal to the extent that killing, maiming and harassment of citizens (are) now business as usual. It is also regrettable to note that the said Asiri Eniba has some security details (SPU) attached to him by the Osun State Command of the Nigeria Police, influenced by the Governor Oyetola-led APC government in Osun State. This gives him a free hand and the impetus to operate wickedly and violently while the police always looked the other way,” the PDP alleged.
The statement called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to save the tensed situation in the state.
The PDP also rejected the appointment of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Kayode Adebowale, by the Independent National Electoral Commission as the State Returning Officer for the July 16 governorship election, alleging that the VC “was part of (the) Ekiti APC campaign on more than five occasions.”
“As much as we have confidence that adherence to the spirit and letters of the Electoral Act will guarantee free and fair election, we reject the appointment of Prof Adebowale as State Returning Officer for the July 16th election on account of partisanship and affiliation with the All Progressive Congress as a party, through the party’s former national chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun (the chairman of the governing council and pro chancellor of University of Ibadan), the Governor-elect of Ekiti state, Mr Biodun Oyebanji and his membership of alumni association of Ayedaade Grammar School, Ikire, of which Osun State deputy governor is a member.
“It is particularly troubling that the Vice Chancellor was part of (the) Ekiti APC campaign on more than five occasions. He was specifically very close (to) the family of the Ekiti Governor-elect before and during the campaigns.
“It would, therefore, be unfair to the mantra of free and fair election for such a figure with close affinity to the APC to be appointed State Returning Officer for the July 16 elections. Prof Adebowale is not just an appointee of (the) Oyegun-led Council, he is clearly a member of the inner circle of (the) APC going by his recent activities,” the party stated.
The Osun PDP further accused the APC of collating Permanent Voter Card details of public servants, teachers and pensioners in the state for the purpose of vote-buying.
The statement said, “Osun APC is plotting a more advanced vote-buying mechanism which has element of pre-voting and on-the-spot vote purchase.
“Reports from across Osun State in the last two weeks revealed that (the) APC has been collating the PVC details of public servants, teachers and pensioners. The plot is to engage in pre-election vote-buying alongside election day vote purchase.
“We are elated that Osun workers yearning for freedom have refused cooperation despite threats and coercion. We commend the resilience of Osun workers, teachers and pensioners who have rejected attempt to buy them and deny them right to freely elect their leaders.
“We are, however, using this medium to call on the security and anti-corruption agencies to redouble their efforts towards taming the APC vote-buying agenda. We warn against any attempt to cover up the many evidence of vote-buying plots by the APC. Osun is not for sale to political vultures and it is high time (the) APC heeded the frank warning from our people.”
The joint committee, therefore, demanded “the immediate arrest of the notorious APC thugs led by Asiri Eniba for the purpose of investigating their criminal activities and bringing them to justice; immediate arrest of the identified Amotekun Corps (officers) who shot and killed the innocent citizens on the said 14th June, 2022 in Sabo area, Osogbo; (investigation of) the activities of the Osun Amotekun and (determination of) their scope of operation and reasons for their meddling in the electoral process and affairs of politicians in Osun State; immediate withdrawal of the Police SPU Security details attached to the said notorious thug, Asiri Eniba; and sanction against (the) APC for its criminal plot to subvert the electoral process through elaborate vote buying agenda, among others.”