PDP Alerts Police, Says Violence May Mar Elections in Ekiti

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Supporters of the ruling party clash with opposition supporters in Conakry ahead of the country's second presidential election since the end of military rule. Violence broke out in Conakry on Friday as supproters of the two parties fought in the streets, looting shops and causing at least two deaths. The opposition has long alleged irrgularities with the vote. 10/09/2015. (Tommy Trenchard)

By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

As the rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections hold today, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, has raised the alarm over the possibility of the elections being marred by violence.

The party raised the alarm on Friday that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state was approaching Saturday’s elections with desperation, which might spell doom for the conduct of the much awaited polls.

Addressing newsmen  in Ado Ekiti,  PDP State Chairman, Chief Gboyega Oguntuase, alleged that APC members had been scaring people away with gunshots in the state capital in addition to overnight attack on PDP state secretariat and harassment of opposition party members.

The PDP chairman said: “With the act of shooting that happened in Ado Ekiti when election is less than 24 hours away, we believe that if these people carrying guns are allowed to be operational without check, the entire state will be thrown into confusion and the idea of having free, fair and credible election will be a mere illusion.

“Overnight, the State Secretariat of PDP was attacked. Every banner there was torched. Our security guard was arrested and beaten up. The billboard in front of our secretariat was pulled down.”

“APC is ready to mar these elections with violence. Already, they have moved a lorry load of ‘pankere’ cane from Edo State to Ekiti wanting to use them to attack our people and the attack has started. A man who is a PDP member was accosted around Oja Oba. The man was asked to shout Sai Buhari. He was beaten because of his refusal. His car was damaged.

“We have reported the attack on our secretariat to the police and we believe the police have begun investigations. We will report the gunshot incident before close of work today,” the PDP chairman said.

Dispelling the allegation, the Director-General of Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign Organisation in Ekiti, Dr. Olusegun Osinkolu, described the accusation as concocted lies, which the PDP wanted to deploy  to get public sympathy in today’s elections.

Osinkolu said the target of APC members had been how to return President Muhammad Buhari to power in a legitimate way unlike the PDP he alleged of contriving shady means to win the polls.

“PDP should look inwards for its woes, because our members were not involved. Of what benefit  would removal of campaign souvenirs be to us in these elections.

“President Buhari had given directive to security agencies to deal decisively with poll riggers and as committed Nigerians, APC agreed with him, so we could not have been responsible for this unfounded callous mission the PDP was laying claim to.

“I want to state clearly that APC was not complicit in this nefarious act and our brothers on the other side should stop pointing at us.

“We are focused and we have our eyes fixed on the target and no distraction from a drowning party like PDP can derail us.  Our  main agenda is to win these elections and not to destroy meaningless property or attack any politician that has no relevance among the populace,” Osinkolu said