The Osun State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned in strong terms the tensed atmosphere under which the last Saturday Presidential and National Assembly Elections were conducted in the State.
The APC in the State decried the pocket of lawlessness, violence and extra-judicial killings that trailed the electoral process in the State as manifested in the severe heinous attacks on the members of the opposition across the State before, during and after the polls, where 15 persons were killed and several others injured in the process.
This is even as APC in the State rejected the results of the election in some parts of the State, arguing that they were not true reflections of the people’s wish.
The party commended the electorate in the State for their unflinching support, resilience, forthrightness and strong resistance in the face of naked intimidation and physical life-threatening events from the daredevil elements of the ruling party before, during and after the presidential and national assembly elections in the State.
The APC in the state urged its members to remain calm just as it maintained that it would challenge the results of the elections and seek redress through legal means.
Addressing a Press Conference at the popular Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Office, Osogbo, the State APC Acting Chairman, Hon. Tajudeen Lawal bemoaned the ugly incidence of extra-judicial killings and palpable mayhem unleashed on the people of the state before, during and after the Saturday’s election, saying it was a clear indication that the People’s Democratic Party PDP-led government in the State was at war against the opposition parties, particularly the APC.
He expressed total displeasure at the way and manner many of his party’s members and admirers were maimed, harassed, assaulted, humiliated and dehumanised for no just cause all in the name of winning an election.
According to him, the entire structure of the APC and its members in the State were denied a level play ground to canvass for votes before the elections as it is on record that so many of the party’s members were either killed, maimed, attacked or run out of their abodes by the PDP hoodlums.
Lawal bemoaned how a sizeable number of his party’s members were needlessly and cruelly dispatched to the great beyond by the notorious and daredevil PDP thugs who were operating unhindered across the State before and during the elections.
“The Presidential and National Assembly elections of last Saturday were held under a siege with the PDP hoodlums having a field day across the state to the extent that it would be impossible for any political party which is playing by the rules to win the elections against the political vampire called the PDP whose political thugs were ready to shed the blood of any strong-headed APC member or supporter.
“On the day of the elections last Saturday, in what appeared like a war situation in some parts of Osun State, political hoodlums loyal to the ruling PDP in the State, led by one notorious miscreant, Olalekan Ajagungbade popularly called “Emir” unleashed mayhem on the people of the State, particularly the APC members, who came out to exercise their civic duty.
“The hoodlums, who were large in number, also attacked the country home of the immediate past governor, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, in Iragbiji where several polling units were raided as already thump-printed ballot boxes were carted away by the miscreants.
“The political hoodlums armed with guns, cutlasses, axes and other dangerous weapons ransacked the strong holds of the opposition APC across the state.
“The hoodlums who got to Idi-Ogungun polling Unit in Iragbiji at 3:04pm when the sorting and counting of votes were ongoing, were seen shooting sporadically into the air to scare the electorate as officials of the INEC narrowly escaped death by the whiskers.
“The attackers who arrived the affected polling units in full force sent the entire community into panic as the atmosphere was rented with gunshots before they eventually snatched the ballot boxes during their onslaught at Idi Ogungun, an outskirts of Iragbiji, Boripe Local Government Council Area of the state and later moved to Eleesun and Odebudo, two of the popular communities in the council, all of which are APC strongholds.
“The miscreants successfully ransacked the first polling unit after which they swiftly moved to the next polling unit, which is a short distance where another ballot boxes was carted away.
“Information has it that a team of police came to repel the attacks and eventually got two of the hoodlums apprehended. We therefore call for the prosecution of the arrested thugs by the Police”, Lawal charged.
The State APC Acting Chairman challenged the inability on the part of the security agencies, particularly the police, to bring the culprits to book as earlier unveiled since they have been terrorising the good and innocent people of the State.
Lawal noted that it wouldn’t be out of place to opine that the PDP political thugs enjoy the shield of the policemen who, oftentimes, provided cover whenever the hoodlums were perpetrating their attacks on the innocent people whose only sin before them was their membership of the APC.
He added: “There were incidents in some local government council areas where our party agents and independent observers were chased away by the PDP thugs while the elections were ongoing.
“It is our observation and conviction that if the police have not been working in connivance with the political thugs, a sizeable number of them should have been arrested, paraded, investigated and promptly arraigned by now. But lo and behold, the police are always looking away each time the thugs are either attacking or killing the innocent people in our state!
“You will all recall that we had, through press conferences in the recent past before the elections, complained copiously on how the PDP thugs had been attacking and hacking down our members in Ijesaland, Iwo, Ikire, Ikirun and Ile-Ife.
“It is on record that our party had also complained in the past of the willingness and readiness of the PDP goons to inflict violence on the members of the opposition with a view to creating fear in our members and numerous supporters. No fewer than 15 of our members were killed in Ijesaland alone before the last Saturday’s charade tagged elections which could not stand the test of time.
“We also want to bring it to the knowledge of the public that apart from what happened in Iragbiji, the Osun State Government-sponsored thugs chased away our members from their voting units in Ikirun, Ila-Orangun, Ile-Ife, Ikire, Ilesa, Okuku, Inisa, Ede, Ipetumodu, Edun-Abon, Ifetedo, Gbongan and others.
“Let me go down the memory lane to inform you that the killings of APC members and supporters which began weeks to the election, continued till the eve of the elections as Carlos Fadahunsi, a notorious PDP thug, who was initially arrested was hurriedly released a day to the elections and he was sighted brandishing guns all over Ilesa, dishing out orders to his gang members to attack APC members and voters. The last time he was arrested, the Police found guns and other dangerous weapons with him.
“Carlos Fadahunsi was supported in the Ilesa axis by two other notorious thugs, who incidentally had been declared wanted by the Police, Solo Iwara and Bode Itaapa. The Police have not been able to rein them in because they get official protection from Governor Ademola Adeleke.
“While the PDP’s candidate for Ila Federal Constituency, Hon. Clement Olohunwa, personally led the attacks on the APC members in Ila-Orangun, drawing support from some thugs he imported from Ibadan, Oyo State, another PDP thug, who is also on the wanted list of the Police, Olalekan Ajagungbade popularly called “Emir”, led his boys to unleash violence on Osun people who came out to exercise their civic duty in parts of Osogbo and Iragbiji.
“During the melee, several polling units were raided as already thump-printed ballot boxes were carted away by the PDP miscreants while the political hoodlums armed with guns, cutlasses, axes and other dangerous weapons ransacked the strongholds of the opposition APC across the state.”