The All Progressives Congress (APC) has cried out over the plan by the PDP-led federal government to commence a mass arrest of its leaders in Osun State on Tuesday night, as a ploy to destabilize the party and intimidate its members and supporters ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
In a statement issued in Osogbo on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the arrests, which were earlier scheduled to start on Thursday, was fast forwarded because of the runaway success of the APC’s rally in Osogbo on Tuesday.
“The mammoth crowd that turned out for the rally today so destabilized the PDP and the FG that they have now decided to fast track the arrest of our leaders in all the local government areas of the state.
“Already, a special team from Abuja has arrived in Osogbo solely for this purpose, while at least one of our leaders, Hon Oke, has been arrested,” the party said. It said the arrest and intimidation of opposition members put a question mark on President Goodluck Jonathan’s assurance to the international community that the Osun election will be free and fair.
“As we have always said, election is a process. Rigging is not restricted to voting day alone. Arrest and intimidation of the opposition ahead of voting constitute rigging. Therefore, by engaging in the mass arrest of our leaders in Osun, by deploying highly-partisan security agencies to the state, the FG has already kick-started the process of rigging Saturday’s election
“We are therefore alerting election observers, the international community and indeed all Nigerians to the evil machinations of the PDP and the FG for the Osun election.
“We urge all men and women of conscience to prevail on those who are bent on fomenting anarchy in Osun State to give peace a chance. We ask for nothing more than a level playing field for all candidates in the election. We want the election to be a celebration of democracy rather than a trigger for chaos, ” APC said.