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PDP Governors Forum accuses APC of desperation

By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja, Oluwaseun Akingboye, Akure
01 November 2016   |   3:54 am
The Governors Forum of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of enlisting the support of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to secure victory at the polls.
 Olusegun Mimiko

Olusegun Mimiko

Parties trade words over violence

The Governors Forum of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of enlisting the support of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to secure victory at the polls.

A statement by its Secretary, Patrick Okon, also urged that INEC be overhauled.

The statement reads: “We are aware of the plan of the APC to win Ondo State by all means, including enlisting the assistance of the INEC.

“We are warning that we would not fold our arms to watch this impunity and day-time robbery. INEC is an umpire and should play its role well so that the electorate would have confidence in it.

“From the way things are going, the people are already losing confidence in the commission. The INEC should stick to its electoral mandate and not subvert the laws of the land.”

The forum urged the commission to conduct itself well in the governorship election to avoid a repeat of what happened in the Edo election.

The governors urged President Muhammadu Buhari to caution his party, the APC and INEC to be fair in the election.

Meanwhile, the two parties have accused each other of causing violence during their campaigns.

The APC Publicity Secretary, Mr. Abayomi Adesanya, said in a statement in Akure yesterday, that Governor Olusegun Mimiko was plotting to cause mayhem in the state.

But his PDP counterpart, Mr. Banji Okunomo, explained that the ordeal of its factional candidate, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, was arranged by the APC to cause problems for the ruling party.

He said: “Since the news of substitution of Jegede’s name with that of Jimoh Ibrahim hit public space, supporters of the APC candidate, as well as those of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) have continued to rejoice over the sad development.

“They are of the belief that should the name of Jimoh Ibrahim be sustained, it would be a walk-over for either of the two camps in the election.”

According to Okunomo, the APC members believe that it would be easier for them to defeat Ibrahim as the candidate than Jegede.

He described those involved in celebrating Ibrahim’s emergence as the fanatical supporters of the APC and AD candidates.

The PDP chieftain told the party’s supporters that despite the trial, they would triumph at the end.

“By His grace, we shall overcome this temporary setback. We have deployed all legal arsenals at our disposal to salvage our people’s interest and to protect Jegede’s mandate, which the opponents cannot take away from him.

“Let this song continue to be on the lips of many who believe in this God-ordained agenda of liberation. We shall overcome, because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, regardless of who is at the receiving end. It is an evil that must be resisted and rejected,” he said.

But Adesanya said he had information that the governor had mobilised thugs and militants from the neigbouring states to foment violence in the state.

According to him, the mayhem would be carried out in Akure, the state capital, Ondo town, Akoko, Owo, Ore and Okitipupa, which are spread across the three senatorial districts of the state.

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Inspector General of Police, Director General of Security Service and other security agencies to beef up security in the state.