BY HENRY UMORU
The recent spate of violence in Ife is a reflection of the anxiety that now prevails among APC stakeholders who are determined to frustrate the conduct of the August 9 election, the PDP national scribe, Prof. Wale Oladipo said yesterday.
Affirming that the PDP is set to snatch another state from the APC after last month’s outing in Ekiti State, Oladipo said the security clampdown that allowed one man, one vote was another reason the leadership of the APC in the state was also panicking.
Oladipo who denied insinuations of the involvement of the Presidency in Ekiti and ruled out any plans by the ruling PDP to drag the Presidency to intervene on behalf of the party said: “I make bold to say that the Presidency is not in any way involved in funding our campaigns. PDP is a grassroots party. This is the only party found in every village in this country and we have legitimate means of raising funds for our needs. This is a party that is not dominated by a few individuals,” Oladipo told reporters in Abuja yesterday.
Reacting to the violence that recently rocked Ile-Ife, the national secretary said that having lost Ekiti, ”APC is a super minority in Ile- Ife”, adding “Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the APC are jittery and are trying to do everything so that the election won’t hold.
“I make bold to say, come August 9, Omisore will convincingly defeat Aregbesola. We believe (with) one man, one vote they were stopped in their tracks when they tried to rig in Ekiti .”
“I call on security agencies and others to wade in and arrest those raiding people. Ife is known for peace and we will continue to be peaceful.”
Commenting on the alarm raised by the APC over the decision to send the Resident Electoral Commissioner, (REC), Amb. Rufus Akeju on leave during the election, Professor Oladipo explained that a competent court had raised questions over the neutrality of the REC.
“A court of competent jurisdiction questioned the neutrality of Akeju, yet the APC was just defending him. Why would they continue to defend him, unless they have a deal? Why should they cry? Why is Lai Mohammed complaining? It was obvious Akeju cannot be neutral. He was an aide to Tinubu. INEC has done the right thing in moving him away.
“I don’t think APC is questioning the neutrality of the new man, Agbaje. I am confident that the PDP will win hands down.
”Aregbesola has not deemed it fit to call a meeting of traditional leaders despite the fact that one of the highest traditional leaders in Yorubaland is in Ife, the Ooni of Ife.”
He also rubbished allegations by the APC that Omisore was moving round the state with thugs, noting “Omisore is followed by lawful security officers. Omisore is on ground, he knows the terrain of Osun. We don’t rent crowds. Omisore is not afraid of anybody. I am telling you confidently that Aregbesola is scared stiff .”
On the fate of his predecessor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Oladipo said “I am sure he will not do anything to jeopardise the PDP. He is my big brother, he is a prince and I am also a prince. God used some people like the Ooni of Ife and Omisore to bring him in to be candidate for governorship. I know God has been faithful to him.”