Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The African Democratic Party (ADC) in Ogun State, on Friday, accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Allied People’s Movement (APM) of defacing the billboards and carting away of A-Board adverts of its governorship candidate, Gboyega Nasir Isiaka.
ADC equally accused the parties of allegedly unleashing mayhem on its members during campaigns in some parts of the state.
Briefing journalists at the campaign headquarters of the party located in Quarry Road area of Abeokuta, Ogun state capital, the Director General of Gboyega Nasir Isiaka Campaign Organization (GNICO), Tony Ojeshina, said the political intolerance of APC and APM, may pose a threat to the peaceful conduct of 2019 poll in the state.
According to him, the worsening state of security and general atmosphere of uncertainty currently pervasive in Ogun state is a deliberate and orchestrated plan to throw the state into a state of security emergency before and during the elections.
Ojeshina said the ADC, since it officially launched its campaign on December 1, has been campaigning and interfacing with the electorate within the purview of the electoral law and the INEC, berating the two opposition parties for making issue based campaigns impossible by unleashing political thugs and agents of the state on it.
He recalled how the campaign train of the party was violently attacked in Ibese town in Yewa North local government area and Abeokuta North, leading to some members sustaining serious injuries, while one person lost his life.
The DG added that the party had to cancel its campaign tour of Odogbolu Local Government Area on December 10, due to reliable security reports which indicated that agents of the governorship candidate of an opposing political party had stationed deadly cultists to truncate the tour and possibly ensure a fatal incident .
Ojeshina, however, said that since December 20, attacks on the A-Boards of the party governorship candidate has been stepped up, noting the party’s late night monitoring revealed that some hoodlums loyal to APC and APM were defacing the boards and carting them away with impunity.
“On two occasions last week, our surveillance group met the hoodlums in action and upon seeing some faces they didn’t know, they jumped into their car and ran away. Some of them adorned branded apparels (T-shirts and car stickers) that gave them away as agents of the ruling APC and APM. Just four days ago, the police patrol van from the Ibara division accosted these hoodlums while throwing our boards into the gutter and defacing them. On sighting the police van parking by them, they again bolted away. Indeed, we got hints from the police to that effect.
“After having spent monies to make more A-Boards and putting them back on the roads two days ago, the agents of APC and APM went berserk and carted away the boards – throwing them into a deep canal at Omida road beside the palace of the Olubara of Ibara. We have since recovered the materials from the dump site. There are pictorial and video evidences to buttress our claims.
“We must state also that these nefarious and antisocial act have been reported to the police for commensurate action. Even in Lagos state the A-Boards of APC and PDP do coexist with no acrimony. We condemn these incidence in their entirety. Our party, ADC is peaceful and our governorship candidate, Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka (GNI) is peace loving and has a history of violence free, issues based campaigns since 2011. We do not know why the opposition is frightened of competitive campaigns and hell-bent on bringing down the house. We urge that they halt these negative trend because we shall henceforth resist these shameful acts with all that is lawfully feasible”. Ojeshina submitted.
When contacted for his reaction to the allegation, the Director General of APM Campaign Council, Sarafa Tunji Ishola, declined comment and simply said “no comment”.
But in his reaction, the Publicity Secretary of the Caretaker Committee of Ogun APC, Tunde Oladunjoye, absolved the APC from any form of political violence or removal of campaign advert materials.
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According to him, the campaign advert materials of the APC governorship candidate, Dapo Abiodun were also removed, particularly in Abeokuta metropolis, urging ADC to be courageous to name the persons behind its ordeals and not lumping APC with the culprits.
“We believe the GNI Campaign Organisation has the wherewithal to know who has actually been removing its advert materials and that of APC candidate, Dapo Abiodun, across Ogun State, especially in Abeokuta; they should be courageous enough to name the persons and party and not lump APC together with the culprits.
“The APC and its candidates are running a decent, non-violent and issue-based campaign, devoid of violence and hate speeches. We want to put it on record that when the news of the attack on the convoy of ADC candidate broke out early December, our candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun, put a call across to him to sympathise with and encourage him.
“That is the stock we are made of; we are not desperate; we are not intolerant and we are confident that Ogun people will listen to us and vote us in”. Oladunjoye stated.