Preparations for the August 9, governorship election in Osun State turned violent on Monday, in Ile-Ife, as no fewer than 15 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were said to have sustained severe injuries following alleged attack by supporters of All Progressive Congress (APC), who attended a rally in the ancient town.
One of the sources informed the Nigerian Tribune, that the incident, which occurred around Gbodo, Otutu and Ita Akogun areas at about 4.15 pm, created fear among residents as many scampered to safety to avoid being caught up in the melee.
The PDP in a statement signed by Omisore’s director of media and strategy, Prince Diran Odeyemi, accused the APC of allegedly sponsoring the attacks, lamenting that more than six vehicles, belonging to its members were destroyed, while several shops were allegedly razed and looted by suspected thugs identified as “State Boys” around Gbodo and Ita Akogun neighbourhoods.
According to the statement, about 15 of our supporters were brutally macheted by the rampaging thugs”.
“We have implored our members to remain law abiding while we have notified the police and other security agencies of this unwarranted attacks on innocent PDP members, who are going about their lawful business. Today’s attack will be the seventh since the commencement of this campaign and our party has lost men and millions of property in return”, the statement added.
But, the director of publicity, research and strategy of the APC in Osun, Mr Kunle Oyatomi contended that the development was part of the “PDP’s antics to divert attention from its own criminality”, saying it is a pity that the PDP is looking for power that it can’t give itself. We have nothing to fear in Ile-Ife. And this was demonstrated at our maiden mega rally right at the centre of the ancient town”.
According to him, “people came in their thousands and showed support and solidarity in a manner that any first timer in Ile-Ife would readily believe and truly so, that Aregbesola has no competitor in the state. Before Omisore stepped into the arena, Osun has been peaceful under Aregbesola. But a potentially threat to violence surfaced with Omisore, over interest in becoming governor”.
“The question all intelligent people should ask themselves is how can a government of APC that is conscious of critical relationship between peace and development turn round to create violence to stall the very same socio and environmental development it has brought about in Osun? In whose interest therefore is violence necessary in Osun if not the PDP?
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Osun State, Police command, Mrs Folasade Odoro, confirmed the incident, disclosing that “there was fracas in Ile-Ife. But, the Police were able to restore normalcy, while investigation into the incident is already ongoing”.
Akinbade accuses PDP of name dropping •He’s non issue in Osun politics —PDP
As the political gladiators strategise to achieve victory in the August 9 governorship poll in Osun,State, the flagbearer of the Labour Party (LP), Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, on Monday, accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the state of allegedly dropping his name to deceive prospective voters ahead of the election.
He described the rumour that he was working underground in alliance with the standard bearer of the PDP in the election, Senator Iyiola Omisore, as wicked and misleading.
Akinbade, in release signed by his director of media, Mr Kayode Oladeji, “vowed never to go into alliance with the PDP or its representatives”, contending that “the said rumour that had pervaded the state in the last few weeks ,was the handiwork of enemies of progress, who would stop at nothing to confuse the electorate”.
While positing that “those behind the rumour were agents of darkness, who might be dreaming while awake”, the LP governorship candidate wondered why the PDP and its agents have been peddling the rumour of his alleged alliance with his former party”, stressing that “I have been busy workinag round the clock across the state with a view to emerging as the governor of the state at the coming poll by defeating the PDP, APC and other parties”.
But, the publicity secretary of the PDP in Osun,State, Prince Bola Ajao, described Akinbade as a non issue in the politics of the state, pointing out that the party was only committed to routing out the incumbent Governor Rauf Aregbesola in the forthcoming poll.
He stated, “it is unfortunate this lame talk is coming from Alhaji Akinbade ,at this point in time, while we have chosen not to join issue or trade tackles with him. It is our considered opinion that the person and the party we in the PDP are frontally engaged in Osun 2014 is the incumbent Governor Aregbesola and the APC from whom we intend to wrest power”.
“If Alhaji Akinbade is indeed troubled by the intimidating profile of our standard bearer, Senator Iyiola Omisore, they better lick their wounds rather than engage in shadow chasing. To any discerning eye, this August 9 governorship election is lost and won. Name calling has no place in this game. The best and the brightest are found in the PDP”, Ajao aseerted.
According to Akinbade, “I don’t intend to go into alliance with anybody or any party; I will not and cannot go into alliance with Omisore, the PDP or anybody on anything that relates to the forth coming election. For crying out loud, what do some people take me for?”.