Governor Olusegun Mimiko
By James Sowole
The Mimiko Campaign Organisation (MCO) Wednesday raised the alarm over what he described as a series of attacks allegedly perpetrated by supporters of opposition parties particularly the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) on members of the Labour Party (LP) in Owo town saying there were plans to eliminate LP leaders.
The MCO raised this alarm in a statement signed by the MCO Director of Publicity and Media, Mr Kolawole Olabisi following what he called a fresh attack on its members in the ancient city on Tuesday night.
He recalled that supporters of the party were shot barely two weeks ago and that a similar attack occurred in the city in which several LP supporters were shot, injured with cutlasses and properties worth millions of naira destroyed.
Olabisi noted that the latest development had vindicated its numerous cries in the recent past that the ACN and the PDP were out to foment trouble with a view to intimidate the electorate.
The director said a member of the House of Representatives representing Owo/Ose
Federal Constituency, Mr Eni Omosule, the Chairman of the State Environmental Task Force, Mr Gbenga Atiba and a Senior Special Assistant to the Ondo State Governor on Direct Labour Agency, Mrs Mobolaji Suara on Tuesday were attacked by a combined team of thugs. He said Mrs Suara was shot in the arm while Atiba was clubbed on the head after several bullets fired at him missed their targets.
Olabisi added that the member of the House of Representatives was however lucky as he escaped from his assailants who chased him into the bush having damaged his car.
The victim, who said their vehicles were damaged beyond repairs said it was only God that saved them.
Olabisi in a statement described the latest attack as part of the game plans of the opposition to clamp down on the top echelon of the LP.
“Since it has become impossible for them to win this election in a free and fair situation, they have adopted this ‘strike the shepherd, scatter the sheep’ tactics of targeting senior members of our party for elimination as was the case in Edo State.
“We are calling on the security operatives to bring all the perpetrators of the series of violence in Owo to book to serve as deterrent to others and ensure the security of lives and property.
“While we have continued to prevail on our people to remain calm and not to be provoked into retaliating which was their intention, we wish to tell them categorically that they should perish the thought of capturing Ondo State to their flagging empire.
But undeterred by the verbal offensives against the party, the second leg of the Redemption Rallies organised by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to campaign for the party’s candidate in the October 20 election was held yesterday at Ondo town, with a declaration by the leaders of the party that there would be no hiding place for the Labour Party (LP) in the election.
The ACN leaders who gathered at the A.K Field Adeemulegun road include Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, the Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola among others, said ACN would provide a responsive leadership which Ondo State deserved and which its candidate, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu can provide.
Other leaders at the rally include former Ogun State governor, Segun Osoba, Osun state deputy governor, Titi Laoye-Tomori, her Lagos state counterpart, Orelope Adefulire.
They said the party would reposition the state and make it one worthy of emulation if voted into power.
Bisi Akande said the LP has no “relation” as Mimiko is the only governor of the party throughout the country.”
Akande said, “What I witnessed yesterday and today have shown that we have won and after the election I will come back to celebrate with you, but I want to urge the people to come out on October 20 and vote for Akeredolu”
Osoba in his speech urged the people to be ready to police their votes after casting it on October 20.
He said the people of Ogun, Oyo and Edo States policed their votes and the ACN won, saying that the people should not allow themselves to be intimidated.
Aregbesola said because democracy started in Owo with the formation of Action Group (AG), Ondo State should therefore not be left out in the revolution going on in the southwest region.
The Osun State governor said, “Because of the present situation in the country there is the need for the Yoruba states to be in the same party, we should belong to the same thing.
He stated that they have done all they could to bring Mimiko into the fold of the parties in the South West but he had refused to join them saying they have also decided to show him the way out of government house.
“There is nothing we didn’t use to beg him, there is nothing we have not used to plead with him to join us and despite what we did for him when he was in trenches and during the election.
But just as the ACN was holding its rallies at Ondo town, a group within the party known as the Yoruba Awareness Forum (YAF) issued a statement announcing that they have dumped the ACN and decided to campaign for the candidate of the Labour Party, Governor Olusegun Mimiko.
The group’s decision was contained in a statement signed by its President General, Chief Babasola Familusi, saying that they decided to join force with the LP government as a result of the outstanding achievements of the governor in all sectors of the state.