Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) in Ondo State, has raised the alarm over alleged plot by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to foment trouble before and during the October 10 governorship election in the state.
The parties noted that the recent threat by a former chairman of the APC that his supporters would engage in violence during the election called for concern, hence the need for security operatives to be at a red alert.
Addressing journalists in Akure, the state chairman of CNPP, Mr. Rotimi Boboye, said recent actions of some APC members have shown that the party had concluded plans to cause violence during the election.
He said: “We have observed the recourse to violence, intimidation and subterfuge by officials of the outgoing APC government in Ondo State. This dangerous development was manifested in the recent local government election largely boycotted by many political parties while a few of our members participated.
“In the said sham of an election, not only were candidates of participating parties intimidated, harassed, and violently assaulted, voters were also disenfranchised and figures concocted to meet the pre-planned agenda of the outgoing APC government.
“Rather than abate, such violence has taken new dimensions with meetings of political parties being invaded by known thugs of the APC, their cronies and agents.
“We are aware that these spreading of violence may not be unconnected with the well articulated though sinister position expressed by Isaac Kekemeke, a self confessed militant and an apparachick of the APC, who not only boasted of being in possession of high calibre arms, but also went ahead to name known harbingers of violence that are to be recruited to cause mayhem from within and outside the State.
“Spreading across the state are confirmed incidences of battered heads, broken limbs and bruised bodies which align with the ‘strategy’ openly canvassed by Kekemeke, but which is yet to be condemned by his party, the APC.
“These have also been followed with illegal arrests, dehumanising treatment and detention of members of the opposition parties by police and military officers. We see these as dress rehearsals to show the ‘preparedness” of the ‘war-mongers’ to let loose violence on the opposition and the electorates in our dear state.
“The only way to avoid a sad repeat of the events of the better forgotten experience is to arrest the descent into anarchy, which the current trend portends.”
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the state governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu to order, and ensure that peace reigns in the state before, during and after the governorship polls.