By Oluwakemi Ishola
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the security situation in Ondo state ahead of a governorship election on October 10.
According to a letter signed by the party’s spokesman in Ondo, Kennedy Ikantu Peretei, and obtained by Pacesetter News on Thursday, the PDP accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of permitting electoral violence in the state.
“Only on Tuesday, September 22, these thugs unleashed violence on the people during Akeredolu’s campaign in Idanre,” the PDP’s letter said.
The PDP insisted that the people of Ondo will resist any form of vote manipulation on election day.
“We urge you to halt the onslaught on the opposition and people of Ondo State by Governor Akeredolu and his army of political thugs,” the PDP told Buhari.
Read the full version of the letter:
Over the past few weeks, we have noticed to our consternation, the culpability of the security chiefs in Ondo State in the mayhem perpetrated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Ondo State during the ongoing campaign season. They have been giving free access to the political thugs assembled to maim and kill the people of Ondo State in order to achieve a desired political objective. Indeed, we believe that there is complicity involving even the Inspector General of Police and some service chiefs.
Everywhere Akeredolu goes to campaign, about five or six buses loaded with political thugs, wielding guns accompany him. Only on Tuesday, September 22, these thugs unleashed violence on the people during Akeredolu’s campaign in Idanre. The story has been the same anywhere he goes, be it Akure or Ondo town. If care is not taken, there will be genocide in Ondo State. Mr President, all the petitions that have been written in relation to this naked orgy of violence unleashed on the peace-loving people of Ondo State by a government elected to protect their lives and properties have been ignored by the service chiefs.
We also bring to your attention the culpability of the governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, in the whole saga. We have it on record that following Akeredolu’s invitation to the DG, DSS over the violence recorded at a campaign in Ondo State, Fayemi led him to the DSS boss and other service chiefs. The objective, we learnt, was to soften the ground for him so as to continue his reign of terror in Ondo State. We have also learnt of their plan to repaint campaign vehicles and brand them as observers’ vehicles during the election, so that these vehicles can be used to convey weapons to actualize their rigging plan. It is ironic that the same Fayemi that many people stood in defence of when he alleged that violence was being unleashed on his campaign team in the past is now the arrowhead of a plot to take over Ondo State by force.
Right now, a lot of people have been maimed and injured. Petitions to the federal authorities have yielded nothing, not even the promise of investigation. We want Your Excellency to be aware of these atrocities committed under your watch. We are also asking the International Community to note these atrocities. The 1983 violence that engulfed Ondo State must not be allowed to re-occur.
Our people will resist imposition and manipulation of votes with every legitimate means. It would be terrible for violence to engulf Ondo State under your tenure. Because of APC’s failure in Ondo State, there is a desperation to make the October governorship election in Ondo State a do-or-die affair. Given Your Excellency’s professed commitment to free and fair polls in the wake of the just concluded governorship election in Edo State, we urge you to halt the onslaught on the opposition and people of Ondo State by Governor Akeredolu and his army of political thugs.
Kennedy Ikantu Peretei
Publicity Secretary, PDP, Ondo State