· APC accuses opposition parties of causing Tension in Ondo
James Sowole in Akure
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ondo State, yesterday denied that it planned to merge with the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and compromise the candidature of its governorship flag bearer, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede SAN.
However, the All Progressives Congress (APC) accused opposition parties of causing tension in the state ahead of the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Kennedy Peretei, the PDP described the speculation as “a typical tale by the moonlight, often told during election period.”
The statement said: “For the avoidance of doubt, we will like to declare to the whole world that the PDP has never sat down anywhere with anybody in the ZLP to discuss any merger plan, much less perceive any move or begging to make its governorship candidate step down.
“This is another typical tale by the moonlight, often told during the election period,” the party said.
Dismissing the claim that Jegede was being asked to step down for the ZLP governorship candidate under the rumoured merger plan, the PDP said it was laughable in its entirety and remained a concocted lie.
“How on earth can the duly elected governorship candidate of the PDP, the biggest political party in Africa, step down for the candidate of a bedroom political party, formed in the heat of political harlotry? God forbid.
“While the PDP welcomes other political parties to join the winning team in dislodging the present locust regime under the APC and install a government of the people, the PDP has never changed its identity and name and will never commit the sacrilege at the Ondo State level.
“Besides, the ZLP candidate, who is the current deputy governor of Ondo State, left the APC for the PDP, where he was magnanimously given a waiver to test his popularity by contesting for the PDP governorship ticket.
“He lost the primary election in a poll which he himself described as free and fair, and then, all of a sudden ran away from the party, barely two months as a member.
“The next thing was that he had been picked by a tiny party belonging to a political godfather, where he got his needed rehabilitation to become a governorship candidate. Ever since, we have known little or nothing about his affairs,” the PDP clarified.
The party similarly denied any meeting by any of its chieftains with former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the Ondo State governorship election.
“If former Governor Segun Mimiko met with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, that did not in any way concern the PDP, as Mimiko is not a member of our party, and we had never been invited for any talk by the former President,” it also explained.
“The PDP, as such, urged the people of Ondo State not to be distracted by any last-minute political ploy to cause confusion in their minds, “having resolved to vote for Jegede in the October 10 election,” PDP said.
In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Alex Kalejaye,, the APC accused the PDP and the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) of deliberately launching unprovoked attacks on members of the party, to create avoidable tension ahead of the gubernatorial election.
The statement lamented that while the ruling party perceived other parties as partners in the democratic process, they have treated the ruling party as an enemy that must be annihilated at all cost.
“The PDP and ZLP have attacked us repeatedly, while we have resisted the temptation to fight back. Our decision is not borne out of cowardice, but we feel we are in a position to display maturity. We feel we should be more careful because we are better favoured to win the election.
“All they are doing is to create tension in the state, and possibly discredit the process. We have resolved to continue to tolerate them; we won’t retaliate, irrespective of the degree of provocation,” the statement read in part.
The statement appealed to members of the party to always report any act of aggression and provocation to security agencies, for necessary intervention.
It said the APC was passionate about the development of the people, particularly the women and youth, saying this would form the core area of focus when re-elected.
It explained that the best form of empowerment for these critical segments of the society is gainful employment, adding that this compels the need to invest more in industrialisation.
“Any government that targets overall development and social stability must not neglect the womenfolk and the youth. The two segments of our society would be given priority by the APC led administration in the second phase, when re-elected by the people of Ondo State.”