Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has denied the allegation that its members were planning an invasion into Kogi State to cause mayhem and aid the alleged rigging plans of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the governorship election holding on Saturday.
The main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), through the Kogi state PDP Campaign Council on Friday, had, in a statement made available to the media, alleged that OPC members were planning the invasion of the state to aid the alleged rigging plans of the ruling APC in the exercise.
The party, in a statement by its Deputy Director, Public Communications, Mr Austin Okai, alleged that the OPC members were brought from Ekiti State to cause the mayhem during the poll exercise in the state.
He said the group, according to his findings, would be wearing fake military uniforms to stifle the opposition and ensure the victory of Governor Yahaya Bello.
But in a swift reaction, Publicity Secretary of OPC, Yinka Oguntimehin, in a statement on Friday, said the PDP was raising a false alarm in line with antics of an average politician, maintaining that the group cannot be used as a tool to truncate democratic process in the country.
“As elections in both Kogi and Bayelsa states are underway, politicians will always raise the alarm to buy sympathy and foment trouble through various antics.
Part of their political antics is what is playing out now in Kogi. From the information reaching us, it is obvious that politicians have perfected their plans to outsmart themselves both in Kogi and Bayelsa states respectively.
“But let me say it for emphasis that no party can use OPC as tools or instruments of war. Nobody can use our group to cause trouble before, during or after elections,” OPC said.
The group said it was observing events as they unfolded while it was deeply interested in free and fair elections in both Kogi and Bayelsa states, declaring that citizens of the two states had the right to choose their leaders.
According to Oguntimehim, those parading themselves as OPC are fake members of the group, saying that whoever that flouted the law should be made to face the wrath of the law, even as it warned the PDP not to drag the name of the group into politics of Kogi State.
He said PDP should concentrate on the present job at hand and give peace a chance rather than raising a false alarm.
“We are watching events as they unfold and we are deeply interested in free and fair elections in both Kogi and Bayelsa states. Citizens of the two states have a right to choose their leaders, it is their civic rights and responsibilities.
“Those parading themselves as OPC are fake members of the group, and whoever that flouts the law should be made to face the wrath of the law. Let the rule of law takes its course.
“And on the other hand, PDP should not drag the name of our group into politics of Kogi state, the party should concentrate on the present job at hand and give peace a chance rather than raising a false alarm,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Supervising Coordinator of OPC in Kogi State, Alhaji Wahab Isiaka, has said that the state is peaceful at the moment, adding that the people of the Kogi state were already preparing and ready to perform their civic rights in the poll exercise.
This was just as he also described as false the alarm raised by the PDP, saying it was aimed at causing mayhem ahead of the election in the state on Saturday.
“All is set for the election, and the people are really interested in exercising their civic rights, so the alarm raised by the PDP was false and was intended to cause mayhem ahead of the polls,” he said.