Dayo Johnson – Akure
Less than three weeks to the Ondo state governorship election, the Peoples Democratic Party in the state has written to President Muhammadu Buhari accusing the security agencies of culpability in the unending violence allegedly perpetrated by supporters of the ruling All progressive Congress ahead of the election.
The party in an open letter written by its state Publicity Secretary Kennedy Peretei appealed to the President to call his party in the state to order and stop the violence.
It warned that “The 1983 violence that engulfed Ondo State must not be allowed to recur.
The party “alleged that the service chiefs had been giving free access to the political thugs assembled to maim and kill the people of Ondo State in order to achieve a desired political objective.
According to the party, “a lot of people had been maimed and injured, while petitions to the federal authorities had yielded no result.
The letter read: “We want Your Excellency to be aware of these atrocities committed under your watch. We are also asking the International Community to note these atrocities. The 1983 violence that engulfed Ondo State must not be allowed to recur.
“We believe that there is complicity involving even the Inspector General of Police and some service chiefs.
“Anywhere Akeredolu goes to campaign, about five or six buses loaded with political thugs, wielding guns accompany him. Only on Tuesday, September 22, these thugs unleashed violence on the people during Akeredolu’s campaign in Idanre.
“The story has been the same anywhere he goes, be it Akure or Ondo town. If care is not taken, there will be genocide in Ondo State.”
According to the letter, all the petitions written in relation to the naked orgy of violence unleashed on the peace-loving people of Ondo State by a government elected to protect their lives and properties had been ignored by the service chiefs.
The party further alleged that “following Akeredolu’s invitation to the DG, DSS in Abuja over the violence recorded at a campaign in Ondo State, Fayemi led him to the DSS boss and other service chiefs, with the objective to soften the ground for him so as to continue his reign of terror in Ondo State.
” We have also learned of their plan to repaint campaign vehicles and brand them as observers’ vehicles during the election so that these vehicles can be used to convey weapons to actualize their rigging plan.
” It is ironic that the same Fayemi that many people stood in defense of when he alleged that violence was being unleashed on his campaign team in the past is now the arrowhead of a plot to take over Ondo State by force.”
While stating that the Ondo people would resist imposition and manipulation of votes, the party said it would be terrible for violence to engulf Ondo State under your tenure.
“Because of APC’s failure in Ondo State, there is a desperation to make the October governorship election in Ondo State a do-or-die affair.
“Given Your Excellency’s professed commitment to free and fair polls in the wake of the just concluded governorship election in Edo State, we urge you to halt the onslaught on the opposition and people of Ondo State by Governor Akeredolu and his army of political thugs,” it said.
But in a swift response, the state publicity secretary of the APC, Alex Kalejaye said that the party “has no reason whatsoever to engage in, or encourage thuggery.
“The governor of the State and APC flag bearer, Rotimi Akeredol would never be a man to go about with guns or be a party to the violence of whatever colouration.
“We neither need guns nor cutlasses to do this. Violence and thuggery are not in the character of the ruling party.
It is astonishing to hear the PDP accused the ruling party of promoting a do-or-die approach to the election, which is actually their second name.
” The desperation of PDP leaders is responsible for the bulk of crises recorded so far in the State. The so-called “Akure Agenda”, because its candidate is from Akure, explains why the members from the capital have severally launched unprovoked attacks on our members.
“The APC also has it on good authority that the unannounced alliance between the PDP and the Zenith Labour Party is geared towards attacking each other and blame the ruling party for the same.
Kalejaye, therefore, urged “the security agencies to go ruthless on any party or individual that is bent on depriving the Sunshine State of a peaceful and rancor-free election.
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