The Oyo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday raised an alarm that some members of the opposition political parties in the state have concluded plans to attack some of its leaders and members in the next few days to the election.
APC made this disclosure via a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Dr. Abdulazeez Olatunde.
Olatunde in the statement, made available to newsmen said that the warning became necessary in view of the intelligence report at the party’s disposal that the opposition parties have concluded plans to unleash mayhem on the APC from Monday (today).
He also warned against further unprovoked attacks and wanton destruction of their campaign materials by suspected political thugs armed by the opposition parties.
At the last count, he said that members of the opposition had attacked the convoy of the APC governorship candidate, Chief Adebayo Adelabu; State Chairman, Chief Akin Oke; candidate for Ido/Ibarapa East Federal Constituency, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela and candidate for Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa Federal Constituency, Mr Shina Peller.
Olatunde said, “We are using this opportunity to raise the alarm over planned attack on our leaders in the next few days. Intelligence report at our disposal suggests that these desperate opposition parties plan to attack our campaign rallies to carry out this clandestine plan. The government of APC had since 2011 brought back the peace and security that had eluded the state for several years. We will, therefore, not sit back and allow overzealous opposition party members to take us back to those inglorious days.
“Violence is an ill wind that blows nobody any good. Now is the time for them to stop these mindless attacks. We have been restraining our members from reprisal attacks and such gesture should not be misconstrued for cowardice. Politics should not be reduced a do-or-die affair. If you are sure that your party and your candidate have what it takes to win elections you will not resort to this barbaric idea of maiming and killing opposition figures.”
But, Engineer Akeem Olatunji, Director of Public Communications and New Media of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), gubernatorial candidate, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, while reacting, said that it was surprising that the APC is the one “shedding crocodile tears”.
Olatunji while speaking with newsmen in a telephone conversation also alleged that it was the APC that planned to arrest ADC members.
He said, “It is very disheartening and saddened ones mind that APC which is allegedly behind attack on opposition figures in the state particularly Senator Olufemi Lanlehin and ADC supporters, is the one shedding crocodile tears.
“A case in point is the destruction of ADC billboards across the state for instance the billboard at Methodist roundabout along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway. “The Handshake Campaign Organization of Sen Olufemi Lanlehin is also aware of attempt by the ruling APC to arrest ADC supporters ahead of Saturday election based on trump up charges.
“The Handshake Campaign Organization is therefore calling on the Inspector General of Police and Director of DSS to ensure neutrality before and during the election and also call APC leadership to order”.
Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olajide Olanipekun in his reaction described the APC allegation as “laughable”.
Olanipekun in a statement made available to newsmen Sunday evening said, “The statement credited to the APC raising alarm over alleged attack by opposition is not only laughable but a face saving tactics by the ruling APC to cover up the imminent defeat in the coming elections.
“It will be noted that the Campaign train of the APC has been violent prone with many casualties which had made the dwindling popularity of the party to nose dive in the wake of the coming elections. The ruling APC is just exposing her plans for the opposition as they are the one with governmental machineries which they have been using to harass the opposition. Hence it is a grand mischief for the ruling party to be accusing the opposition of what they are doing just to safe face as the Zenith Labour Party candidates will defeat APC in the coming elections of 16/2/2019 and that of 2/3/2019.
“We of the Zenith Labour Party hereby urge the electorates of Oyo state not to fall for the face saving tricks of the APC as the Party is the one attacking opposition. We also warn that nothing should happen to all candidates and leaders of ZLP before, during and after the coming elections. And if anything happens to ZLP candidates and leaders, the ruling APC should be held responsible”.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while commenting, however, declared that the statement has shown that the ruling APC is panic.
Prince Dotun Oyelade, Media Aide to the PDP gubernatorial candidate in the state, Engineer Seyi Makinde, said in a statement made available to newsmen that, “You can see all the signs of panic in their unprovoked blackmail.
“At this point, 7 days to the Presidential polls, it’s no surprise that APC will grab any shrub just to remain afloat of a sinking canoe”.