News

March 1, 2024

Ondo: APC guber aspirants raise alarm over political violence ahead of primary election

—- Perpetrators ‘ll be arrested, prosecuted- Aiyedatiwa

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

Governorship aspirants under the platform of the All Progressive Congress in Ondo state, have raised the alarm over political violence in the state ahead of next month’s governorship primary election of the party.

The party’s primary election has been slated for next month and no fewer than 20 aspirants have declared their governorship ambitions in the ruling All Progressive Congress and the People’s Democratic Party in the state.

They said that President Bola Tinubu’s visit to the state was turned to a theatre of violence, with their supporters attacked and their billboards defaced and pulled down by thugs.

Speaking on behalf of the aspirants, a former Finance commissioner in the state,Wale Akinterinwa said that his supporters and that of other governorship aspirants were attacked by thugs sponsored by those in government.

A statement issued by Akinterinwa’s spokesperson, Segun Ajiboye, in Akure, said that “The thugs, who brazenly fired gun shots into the air to cause confusion, went on a destruction spree as they attacked property, while billboards of other gubernatorial aspirants were defaced, pull down or out rightly destroyed.

“Party members perceived to be loyal to all gubernatorial aspirants save for Governor Lucky Ayedatiwa, sustained varied and diverse degree injuries resulting from the attacks unleashed on them. T-Shirts, faze caps and other insignia wore by members of the targeted aspirants were torn to shreds.

“The thugs who carried out the orchestrated attacks were armed with all sorts of dangerous weapons. It is sad to note that many of our supporters with deep cuts are in the hospitals receiving treatments at the moment.

” It is, however, surprising that no aspirant other than the governor was spared of the attacks.

“Let me state here that the need for this press statement is not borne out of fear or inability to protect our supporters.

“We have the capacity to give adequate protection to all our members who have remained peaceful in the face of this dastardly attack.

Ajiboye said that “We are also not unaware of the overriding need to save our dear state from an ugly reenactment of the dark days by those who harbor vaulting and mechanical ambition.

“At this juncture as members of the Wale Akinterinwa Campaign Organisation, we would also love to state that as responsible leaders and members of our party with genuine intentions to serve our dear people, we are unable and will not accept the imposition on the party members a regime of panic and fear in other to supplant popular participation in a democratic process aimed at emplacing accountable and responsive leadership. 

“We, therefore, call on Mr President and the national chairman of the APC to prevail on Mr Governor to halt the use of thugs to advance his political interest. The field is wide enough for everyone to operate.

“Also, we urge all security agencies to not only to be on red alert against future occurrence but also ensure that those who carried out these dastardly attacks are apprehended and brought to books to serve as deterrent to others who may be emboldened by this barbaric act.

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But, in a swift response, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Ebenezer Adeniyan, said that the governor has directed the security agencies to arrest those who attacked supporters of the governorship aspirants and pulled down their billboards.

Adeniyan noted that the governor has equally asked the security agencies to prosecute the political thugs.

According to him” The attention of Ondo State Governor, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, has been drawn to reports of alleged attacks on some persons and destruction of campaign materials in the wake of the visit of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the State on Wednesday.

“The governor says his administration will not tolerate any form of violence that is capable of threatening the peace and tranquillity of the State.

“As the Governor has said repeatedly, any political campaign that disturbs the peace in the State is unacceptable and must be met with the decisive actions of law enforcement agencies.

“It is pertinent to make it clear that nobody associated with the Governor or the government of Ondo State was involved in any of the reported activities ascribed to “political thugs” during the President’s visit to Owo and Akure.

“The governor has therefore asked law enforcement agencies in the State to arrest and prosecute anyone found to be engaged in such violent activities.

Adeniyan added that “The governor urges politicians and their followers to ensure that their campaigns are issue based, devoid of blackmail, spreading falsehood, inciting the public and intimidating opponents.

Vanguard Newspaper