Ondo 2020: APC planning to unleash violence on opposition parties and electorate ― CNPP
• We don't condone violence, thuggery ― APC
Ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo state, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has alleged the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of planning to arrest and detain some opposition politicians in the state on trumped-up accusations before the election.
The CNPP who stated this during a press conference in Akure, the state capital, said it will resist every attempt by the APC to plunge the state into another needless and unconscionable violence that may lead to a repeat of the 1983 incident.
Speaking on behalf of the group which consist of representatives of about ten political parties, the Chairman of CNPP in the state, Rotimi Boboye, said the alarm raised over the looming violence became imperative following the attack on opposition parties by the ruling APC.
According to him, the development if not checked might heighten tension in the state ahead of the election and might result in public turmoil that may throw the state into unpredictable darkness.
Boboye specifically noted that the trend in the violence manifested during the last local government election in the state which was boycotted by some of the political parties while some few or participated.
He said “in the said sham of an election, not only were candidates of participating parties intimidated, harassed and violently assaulted, voters were disenfranchised and figures concocted to meet the pre-planned agenda of the outgoing APC government.
“That rather than abate, such violence have taken new dimensions with meetings of political parties being invaded by known thugs/members of the APC, their cronies and agents”
He said the spate of violence in the state may not be unconnected with the position of one of the APC chieftain “who not only boasted of being in possession of high calibre arms but went ahead to name known harbingers of violence that are to be recruited to cause mayhem from within and without the state”
He, however, said that APC has failed to condemn the statement attributed to one of its chieftains which might be responsible for “the confirmed incidences of battered heads, broken limbs and bruised bodies which align with the ‘strategy’ openly canvassed by the APC leader.
He said that “these have also been followed with illegal arrests, dehumanising treatment and detention of members of the opposition parties by police and military officers.
“We see these as a dress rehearsal to show the ‘preparedness” of the ‘warmongers’ to let loose violence on the opposition and the electorates in our dear state”
But the Publicity Secretary of APC in the state, Alex Kalejaye, described the allegations as untrue and unfounded, saying this is in their imagination as APC will never condone thuggery.
Kalejaye said “these are very spurious allegations coming from parties that are expected to provide political education to the people.
“Our governorship candidate, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, is a peace-loving man with a palpable passion for law and order.
“The All Progressives Congress, APC, will neither promote violence nor endure thuggery. The performance of the APC led government in the last three and half years are sufficient for us to the campaign, having justified the mandate given to us four years ago.
“We know of course, that the fear of the unknown is not unusual when faced with precarious situations as these persons are made to contend with.
“We can only appeal to them to calm down and pursue their ambition in a lawful manner.
Any plotted alibi as they are flaunting to instigate violence will be totally unacceptable”
The CNNP however, called on the security agencies and the federal government ahead of the election in the state to take immediate steps to discourage the legitimisation of violence and the destruction of democracy by fulfilling their obligation to promote, protect, respect and fulfil human rights amidst disturbing signs of violence ahead of the election.
“We, therefore, call on the President and Commander in chief of the armed forces, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Inspector General of Police and all the service chiefs and particularly the Directorate of State Service to take immediate steps to discourage the legitimisation of violence and the destruction of our fledgeling democracy.
“We state that we expect nothing but professionalism and demonstrable fairness from the police and indeed all the security agencies.
“Our minimum request is that all agencies to be involved in the forthcoming polls display obvious neutrality and fairness to all”
“We as members of the CNPP have resolved to conduct ourselves in the most civil and most decorous manner in the forthcoming election but will not watch the outgoing government and party throw our dear state into unpredictable darkness,” Boboye said.