By YInusa Ishola
Ahead of the By-election for Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-ero Federal Constituency in Kwara, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has allegedly accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of importing thugs to disrupt the exercise.
The APC made the allegation in a statement issued by Femi David, an official of the party in Omu-Aran on Saturday.
The APC also accused the PDP of recruiting fake election observers, monitors and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“In its desperation and characteristic manner to subvert the will of the people, the PDP has been recruiting thugs and fake election observers to disrupt the exercise.
“The thugs and fake election observers are to be strategically placed in the strong hold of the APC candidate, Mr Raheem Olawuyi AKA Ajulopin.
“The PDP has been importing thugs from Rivers, Delta and other neighbouring states to intimidate and harass voters in order to scuttle the exercise, having sensed imminent defeat in the by-election.’’
According to the APC, most of the thugs are presently being camped in one of the hotel owned by a stalwart of PDP with the full support of the state government.
The APC urged security agents, especially the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris to swing into action by mounting surveillance in and around the constituency to forestall the breakdown of law and order during the by-election.
“APC hereby put the people of the constituency on alert to report any suspicious move to the security agents in order to have a hitch free exercise..’’
It warned that no amount of intimidation, harassment and hooliganism would deter the people from voting out the PDP on November 17.
“The PDP no longer has hold on Kwara, the people must be allowed to exercise their franchise without any inhibition.
“The APC remains the party to beat in the election, importing thugs to scuttle the election will amount to an exercise in futility.’’
In a swift reaction, the PDP Chairman in Irepodun Local Government Area, Alhaji Saheed Oyelowo said that the allegations were mere fabrication and remained in the realms of speculation.
According to him, we are not in government at the national level, we are only controlling Kwara, so how can we mobilise thugs from other states.
He also reiterated PDP’s commitment to a credible and peaceful election.