By Etop Ekanem
Chairman, Organisation and Mobilisation Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the South-West, Prince Buruji Kashamu, has faulted claims that President Goodluck Jonathan abused state power over his deployment of security operatives to Osun State during last Saturday’s governorship election.
In a statement issued yesterday, Kashamu said: “It was high time political leaders rose above politics of bitterness and rancour, and play the game with decency and maturity.”
He said it was ridiculous that those who allegedly attacked PDP members and leaders in spite of the heavy security could turn round to accuse the President of abusing state power.
The party chieftain spoke of how he was allegedly attacked in Osogbo on his way to Lagos after the election, saying: “In spite of the heavy security presence, I was attacked on Saturday evening on my way to Lagos, after the elections, with the windshield of four buses in my convoy shattered. If my security men had responded, only God knows how many casualties would have been recorded.
“It should be noted that the President deployed the security agents to ensure the sanctity of the human life and the ballot box.” He wanted to provide a conducive environment for the people to go about their normal activities and to vote and for their votes to count. That was exactly what he did and the All Progressives Congress, APC carried the day; yet he is being accused of abusing state power.
“The security agents were deployed to provide security for everyone, irrespective of political leanings. There was no discrimination. Indeed, it was the atmosphere of security that they provided that necessitated the huge voters’ turn out and the success of the exercise which has received both local and international commendations.
“The questions discerning members of the society should ask are: what would the President’s critics have said had the PDP won? Would they have preferred a return to the 2003-2007 era of ballot snatching and stuffing? Would they have preferred us to go back to those days when election results were written before votes were cast? Have we forgotten how their ‘navigator’ determined who won or lost elections during his reign?”