James Sowole in Akure
The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Ondo State and the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Thursday tackled each other over likely outbreak of violence in the Saturday’s House of Assembly election in the state.
The leadership of the two organisations exchanged tirades at the stakeholders’ forum convened by the Ondo State Police command and which was attended by leadership of political parties, religious leaders, traders and market leaders, civil society organisations, security agencies and NURTW leaders.
The forum was convened by the State Police Command to engage with different stakeholders on the need to ensure a violence free election on Saturday.
This development came as the paramount ruler of Akure Kingdom, Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo, threatened to invoke ancestral curse on any person that cause crisis in the kingdom.
Aladetoyinbo spoke in his palace during a meeting with leaders of political parties and various stakeholders.
At the forum, the state chairman of the PDP, Mr. Clement Faboyede, asked the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Undie Adie, to monitor the activities of the men of the NURTW on the day of election because the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is very desperate on the election.
Faboyede, who specifically mentioned the name of the chairman of the NURTW in the state, Mr. Jacob Adebo, a.k.a Idajo as a person that police need to talk to in order to avert crisis, said the government and the APC are poised to engage members of the union to win at all cost.
“There was peace before the presidential and National Assembly Election and even during the election. Things started to change immediately after the announcement of the results of the election.
“As I am talking now, the atmosphere is very charged. There is tension because of the Saturday’s House of Assembly election. I am happy here that Idajo, the NURTW chairman is here, please talk to him. We want peace in Ondo State. We don’t want crisis. We don’t want violence.
“We are very peaceful in the PDP. We do not have money to hire thugs, we do not have money to buy cutlasses not to talk of guns. If the police catch any member of the PDP engaging in any form of violence, let the person or persons be arrested and face the music.
However, apart from making all political parties to sign the peace accord, let the NURTW also sign that there would be no violence because there is already tension in the state.
As the PDP chairman ended his speech, the NURTW chairman rose stating that it was the PDP thugs that had been unleashing terror in the state.
Adebo said reports had reached him that PDP thugs had been attacking members of the union in various parts of the state.
He urged the police to be vigilant because some people are out to cause trouble while the NURTW members would be blamed.
Concerned by the blame game between the NURTW and the PDP, the commissioner of police, warned that the command would deal with individuals or group that may want to cause any form of trouble before, during and after the Saturday poll.
Adie therefore urged political parties and their candidates to play the game by the rules and eschew violence, adding that the security agents would be fair to all parties.
The commissioner vowed that the command would enforce the restriction of movement order from 6;00am to 6;00pm adding that the police would arrest and prosecute any person that violates the order.
“I want to assure political parties and indeed the people of Ondo State that the security agencies are up to the task in ensuring peaceful election on Saturday. We want a violence free election.
“Let me warn political thugs and their sponsors that we will deal with anyone who may want to disrupt the process of election on Saturday in accordance with the law.
“Also, the movement restriction on election day will be enforced strictly. We are begging our people in the state to adhere to it between 6 am and 6 pm and anyone found to violate this directive will be seriously punished”, he said.