…As DG Ajayi’s campaign alleges attack on secretariat by APC thugs
…ZLP only looking for attention; pose no threat to us —Akeredolu
By Dayo Johnson
Barely three weeks to the Ondo State Governorship election, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, 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, APC, ahead of the election.
In a similar development, candidate of the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, in the Ondo governorship election, Agboola Ajayi has raised the alarm over the attack on his campaign secretariat by suspected thugs loyal to the ruling APC in the state.
PDP, in an open letter written by its state Publicity Secretary, Kennedy Peretei, appealed to Buhari 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 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.
“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. We believe that there is complicity involving even the Inspector General of Police and some service chiefs.
“Anywhere Governor Rotimi 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.”
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 Buhari’s tenure.
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 thuggry.
“The governor of the state and APC flag bearer, Rotimi Akeredolu would never be a man to go about with guns or be a party to violence of whatever colouration.”
“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.
On the attack on secretariat, Ajayi said that the thugs who stormed his campaign secretariat in Akure, the state capital fired several gunshots, threatened to kill the guards and destroyed his campaign billboards and other valuable items.
It would be recalled that seven political thugs arrested with arms and ammunition were arraigned in court on Tuesday and ordered to be remanded in prison by the trial Chief Magistrate.
This happened as the state police Commissioner, Bolaji Salami read riot act to political thugs in the state, saying that warm reception awaits them, and sponsors of political violence at Olokuta prison.