The All Progressives Congress in Oyo State on Friday claimed that some political associates of Governor Seyi Makinde and the leaders of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the state were behind the recent attacks on its members at venues of the ongoing membership registration and revalidation exercise of the party in parts of the state.
The allegation was made in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan, the state capital by the Secretary of the Oyo APC Committee on Media and Publicity, Olawale Sadare, warning the PDP to desist from what it described as “reprehensible acts.”
The statement read that media reports had it that some members of the Park Managers System, armed with guns, machetes and charms, stormed the Aliwo Polling Units 05 and 06 at Ward 12 in Ibadan North East Local Government Area of the state in the early hours of Tuesday and unleashed terror on residents of the area and then cart away some registration materials.
It lamented what it described as unwarranted and unprovoked attacks by some elements “who must have been jolted by the rate at which the people of the state are trooping to register as APC members while old members also attach importance to revalidation of their membership.
“We have had reports of violent attacks against our officials and members in places like Olagoke Akano Street, Ward 11 in Ibadan North East Local Government Area; Academy Ward 06 in Egbeda; Iyana Bodija Market Ward 05 in Lagelu; Orita Challenge Ward 02 of Oluyole; Owode Ward 06 of Ogbomoso North and many other places where political thugs were mobilised to the venues of the registration and revalidation exercise since the exercise began about two weeks ago.
“It is clear even to the deaf and the blind that those behind these shameful acts are those close to the corridor of power in the state who feel that violence, brigandage and lawlessness have to be reintroduced to the politics of Oyo State after the last administration of late Senator Abiola Ajimobi had successfully stamped it out. These disgruntled elements believe it is by unleashing terror on political opponents and hapless citizens that their desire to retain power in 2023 (could be achieved) but this would be resisted by the APC.”
It appealed for calm among party faithful who expressed worries over shortage of registration and revalidation materials in some of the places designated for the exercise as the exercise had been extended to the end of March.
The statement read further, “We are not unmindful of agitation for more supplies of the necessary materials used at most registration and revalidation points where those deployed have since been exhausted. It is worthy of note that the national secretariat of our party deployed 100 forms to each of the 4,778 Polling Units designated as Registration Points but reports indicate that officials in about 60 per cent of these registration points attended to 100 registrants in less than 48 hours and thus used up their materials.
“In view of this development, we are glad to disclose that the national secretariat of our party has been notified as we have it on good authority that more supplies would be delivered to us. The leadership of the Oyo APC is poised to do everything necessary to ensure the success of the exercise.”
In a response to the allegation by the APC, however, the PDP challenged the former to name those who are said to have been involved in the attacks.
The Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Akeem Olatunji, said in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Friday that “The main thing is that they (the APC) have discovered that people have rejected them. As far as we are concerned, the people have rejected them. The people of Oyo State have learnt great lessons under the APC administration. They have not recovered from the eight years of their woeful performance in governance.
“As far as we are concerned, they should look inwards to address their problems. They are a bunch of disgruntled and aggrieved people with so many factions. They should brace up and bring the factions together rather than cast aspersions on the Peoples Democratic Party.”