The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has sounded an alarm calling on security agencies to forestall alleged moves being made Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State to disrupt Saturday’s Governorship/House of Assembly elections in the entire South-West by instigating widespread violence.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the Governor has already met with the thugs, who have been trained specifically for the purpose of disrupting the elections, at Oshodi-Isolo in akure and Iro in Akure South Local Government Area giving the group of thugs at each location 350 million Naira for their devilish assignments.
”The strategy is to deploy these thugs to various parts of the South-West with the express instruction to violently disrupt elections through sporadic shootings and stealing of ballot boxes. This is the Governor’s answer to the massive shellacking he received from the electorate in the region in general and in Ondo state in particular during the March 28th presidential elections.
”The fear of the thugs have already sent many APC leaders, who have been targeted for attack, scampering for safety. While some have gone underground, others have relocated either from Ondo State or from the region entirely. There is also the report circulating in Ondo State in particular that the Governor has deployed thugs to every polling unit to cut off the hands of anyone who is suspected to have voted for the APC during the elections.
”These developments do not augur well for a free, fair and peaceful elections, hence the need for security agents to face the challenge posed by the hired thugs squarely,” it said
APC said the thugs have already started unleashing violence, killing one person at a rally in Igbara-Oke in Ifedore local government area of the state on Wednesday
”Since his embarrassing loss at the March 28 elections, Governor Mimiko has almost become maniacal, hence his resort to the training and arming of thugs, many of whom will don fake police and army uniforms to disrupt Saturday’s elections throughout the South-West and especially in Ondo state.
”It is important to alert the sponsors of terror and electoral malfeasance that whether or not they have immunity from prosecution, ultimately they will be made to face the full wrath of the law to account for their unbridled penchant for violence,” the party warned.
It called on all APC members and supporters to be vigilant and to make sure they document all cases of brigandage and rigging across the region, while also alerting local and international observers to pay a close attention to the conduct of the elections in the region, as well as in other flash points like Rivers State, on Saturday.