Alleges APC stoking violence
Opposition parties in Ondo State, under the aegis of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), have vowed to resist every attempt to plunge the state into another needless violence.
They alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was stoking unconscionable violence that might lead to a repeat of the historical 1983 inferno in the state.
At a press conference held in Akure, yesterday, on the state of security in the state ahead of the October 10, 2020 governorship election, the CNPP decried the spate of violence in the state.
The state Chairman of CNPP, Mr. Rotimi Boboye, who led other parties to protest the violence, recounted that there was widespread intimidation of the opposition parties.
Boboye said that the violence meted on the opposition party had increased since the recent local council election, which was boycotted by some opposition parties.
He disclosed that “candidates of participating parties were intimidated, harassed and violently assaulted, while voters were disenfranchised and figures concocted to meet the pre-planned agenda of the APC.”
According to him, the violence has taken new dimensions as meetings of political parties were allegedly being invaded by known thugs/members of the APC, their cronies and agents.
The group also accused the police and military of allowing their officers to be used by the ruling party to intimidate opposition and the electorate with the spate of illegal arrests.
It stressed that the violence might not be unconnected with a threat issued by former state chairman of the APC, Isaac Kekemeke, who prided himself as “a self-confessed militant.”
CNPP added that the party chieftain also “boasted of being in possession of high calibre arms, and went ahead to name known harbingers of violence that are to be recruited to cause mayhem in the state.”
It noted that the statewide violence that followed the council election and Kekemeke’s threat confirmed that APC was not ready for a free, fair and credible poll.
“We as students of history know that our state was allowed to haemorrhage in 1983 and some of its finest citizens killed in politically-induced violence.
“We are not ready and will not be tolerant of any attempt to repeat such needless and unconscionable violence in the name of politics,” the group said.
The opposition parties, therefore, urged the Department of State Services (DSS), the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and service chiefs to take immediate steps to discourage the legitimisation of violence and destruction of the nation’s fledgling democracy.
The conference also tasked the security agencies that would be involved in the forthcoming polls to display professionalism, neutrality and fairness to all political parties.