APC, PDP in War of Words over Osun By-election

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Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo

As part of countdown to the Osun West senatorial by-election scheduled to hold on July 8, 2017, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday raised the alarm over alleged plan by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to scuttle the process of free, fair and credible poll.

Also, the candidate of the APC for the July 8 senatorial by-election, Senator Mudashir Hussain, yesterday alleged that the candidate of the PDP, Mr. Ademola Adeleke, is incompetent to speak on the negotiations that rescued his late brother, Senator Isiaka Adeleke in 2014.

PDP, through its state Chairman, Soji Adagunodo, at a press conference in Osogbo alleged that some electoral officers are conniving with scores of APC chieftains to disenfranchise eligible voters at the strongholds of the PDP, by allegedly deleting their names from the voters’ list.

He further alleged that APC had concluded plan to distort the allocation of ballot papers in such a manner that those meant for specific local government areas, wards and polling units are diverted to wrong locations so as to delay the commencement of voting and disenfranchise many.

Also, the PDP chairman alleged that some chieftains of APC have “procured the service of notorious thugs from within and outside the state to unleash violence in Ede North, Ede south, Egbedore, Irewole, Iwo and Ayedaade Local Government Areas on election day.

“The APC election strategy committee is conniving with certain element in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recruit OYES cadets and other party sympathisers as presiding officers and polling clerks. Part of the plans is to provide fake NYSC uniform and distribute same to these elements in order to make them carry out this nefarious plan.

“There are plans by the APC to ensure that INEC allocate non-functioning card readers to area considered as stronghold of PDP. This, in their thinking, would slow down accreditation of voters and get voters discouraged.
“We have credible information about the plans of APC and the state government to arrange the kidnap and or arrest of leaders of the PDP in certain local government areas on the eve of July 8 by-election.
“As we speak, certain chieftains of APC have compiled names of their party members and sympathisers to be accredited by INEC as election observers and monitors.

“You will recall that 181 of these same elements from Osun State were arrested somewhere in Imo State in 2013, while travelling as fake observers for the Anambra State governorship election.”
Adagunodo also acused the APC candidate in the election, Hussein, of clandestine plan to bring thousands of non-residents from Abidjan, Cotonou, Togo and Ghana as voters, the process which he alleged would commence this week.

He therefore assured his party members and supporters in the ten local government areas that make up the senatorial district of efforts at the national headquarters of PDP to guarantee credible exercise, saying: “We shall not allow anyone, no matter how highly placed, to subvert the freewill of the electorate.”

However, Hussain, in a statement made available by his media aide, Kamil Opeyemi, in Osogbo said Adeleke’s assertion in a live radio programme on the Rave FM where he claimed that his late brother was not a beneficiary of his large heart and obedience to party’s position was a bunkum.
“For Senator Adeleke’s brother, Ademola, to come out and claim that he did not step down for his late brother is a clear indication that he is totally ignorant of the issues that led to his brother coming to the APC from the PDP where he and his loyalists had been disgraced.

“Has he forgotten so soon how a serving minister of police affairs at that time who was a loyalist of Omisore threatened to beat him to coma but for Adeleke’s poor health then?
“If he is so sure that their family’s so-called empowerment of Ede people or Osun West people was so strong enough to win him election, why not stay in PDP and fight it out?

“The results of previous elections in our zone are there for all to see. I defeated his late brother before. In 2015, I was asked by the party to release the ticket for him to return to the Senate. As a loyal party man, I carry that responsibility to help my party in whatever it would take for it to win in order to better the lots of our people. I could not have done otherwise,” he stated.