The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State has raised the alarm over a plan by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to arrest party leaders ahead of the Saturday presidential election in the state.
Clement Faboyede, the PDP Chairman in the state, stated this during a press conference in Akure. He said part of the plan was to cause mayhem during the elections.
Faboyede, flanked by other PDP leaders, accused Agboola Ajayi, the Ondo Deputy Governor, of plotting to disrupt the polls and threatening the opposition leaders with thugs.
According to him, Ajayi had been “using thugs and fake security agents to harass and detain PDP leaders in the district”.
“The information at our disposal has fingered some leaders of APC in Ondo State to cause electoral violence; and first on the list is the Deputy Governor, His Excellency Agboola Ajayi. He is exploiting all opportunities and avenues, including the use of thugs to cause violence in this election.
“It is an open secret that he has mobilised thugs and unofficial security agencies to harass and detain our party leaders in the southern senatorial district. We are appealing to the whole world to please talk to the Deputy Governor to allow free and fair elections.
“It is worthy to note that he has sworn an oath to protect lives and properties; he is the Deputy Governor of the state and not of APC. It will be negative of his office to unleash harassment, terror and to detain opposition party leaders in his district or anywhere in the state.
“There should be free and fair elections in the three senatorial districts of this state, most especially Ese-Odo Local Government, the Apois and Arogbo/Ijaw axis, where the Deputy comes from.”
The Ondo PDP Chairman said Ifedayo Abegunde, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Senator Tayo Alasoadura representing Ondo Central District, and Jacob Adebo, the Chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), have “started unleashing terror on the opposition parties”.
“We also have on record militancy and thuggery in past elections, and information at our disposal reveals that they are stocking arms at the new stadium under construction in Akure to be used to disrupt the election and cart away ballot boxes in the central senatorial district.
“Tayo Alasoadura should know that he is holding a distinguished position and know that he should be law-abiding. He has to be electoral act-compliant. Nurturing thugs is undemocratic; it is against the electoral act. We are begging him also to please check his friends using thugs to cart away ballot boxes or shooting sporadically in the air to scare away voters.”
The party chairman, who appealed to the traditional rulers to intervene, decried the meddling of NURTW members in partisan politics, lamenting that they were being used as political thugs to repress the opposition parties.
“The APC party parades hooligans and thugs under the disguise of NURTW headed by Idajo. It is becoming too much of him; this state belongs to all of us. We on our side, we are law-abiding and won’t go against the law. We love peace. We know we are winning this election and want every vote to count in Ondo State. We are appealing to Idajo to be law-abiding and to sheathe all his hooliganism. He should allow peace to reign,” he said.