An interest group, Oyo Professionals for Developmental Politics, has called on the state police command to beam its searchlight on the internal wrangling instigated by the primaries recently conducted by the Accord Party as possible cause of the violence that trailed last weekend’s rally of the party at Odinjo area of Ibadan.
The group, in a statement issued in Ibadan on Wednesday, 4th March, 2015 by its Chairman, Mr. Gbolagade Hamzat, said that the clues had become necessary in view of the fact that the party had been doing everything possible to pin the mayhem at the rally on the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
First, it said that the rally was held without due and appropriate police permit, and which had been attested to even by the state police command, wondering what the Accord Party’s intention was for flouting the well-known rules of political gathering/campaign.
The group also said that it had uncovered that the photograph of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo published by some newspapers on Wednesday, 4th March, 2015, during a purported visit to UCH to sympathize with Ladoja over the violence instigated by his party members was a mischief from the Ladoja group.
“We want to state with all emphasis at our disposal that Obasanjo was never anywhere near UCH or Ladoja’s residence and never came to sympathize with Ladoja on the said date. Obasanjo came to Ibadan on a private visit around Yemetu and Ladoja, aware of the line of lie he wanted to tow, merely gate-crashed to see the former president and a photo-op ensued for which he sought to mislead the world and strengthen his lie against the APC. This lie was a gang-up between the NAN photographer and Ladoja for which we will petition the newspapers who misled the public in that respect,” the group said.
Besides, the group also noted that the two main actors at the rally, Hon. Gbenga Adewusi and Hon. Akeem Ige, were defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to Accord Party “who were imposed on the party, to the disappointment of loyal founding members of the party”.
It also recalled that after the Accord Party primaries held inside the living room of its gubernatorial candidate, Senator Rashidi Ladoja at Bodija in Ibadan, an intra-party violence ensued which led to many aggrieved party supporters pelting Ladoja’s house with stones, tomatoes, eggs and pure water sachets.
This, it said, led the police to station an armoured personnel carrier (APC) in Ladoja’s house apparently to rescue him from the aggrieved party members.
“We urge the men of the Nigeria Police Force to focus their attention on disgruntled Accord Party members who are still nursing grievances against Ladoja for giving the tickets they felt were theirs to Hon. Gbenga Adewusi and Hon. Akeem Ige.
“One of the disgruntled Accord Party members was late Madam Bola Amole whose ticket was denied her and who later died in mysterious circumstance,” the statement said.
The group said that it had it on good authority at the Eleiyele Police Station where some accused thugs were paraded that one of the thugs asked a top Accord Party leader present how soon the party would bail him out of the police dungeon.
“This is a pointer to the fact that the Odinjo violence was an intra-party affair aimed at destroying the pervading peace which had been the hallmark of the Abiola Ajimobi administration,” the statement said.
The group also noted that since the commencement of the 2015 electioneering process/campaign, there have been several campaigns/rallies even linking rival political parties which went without violence, querying what could have made the Odinjo campaign unique as to ending in violence.
“The whole world, especially the people of Oyo State, will attest to the fact that in almost four years, peace, safety, security of lives and property compared to two previous administrations had reigned in the state.
“The APC had also used the peace refrain as the flagship of its campaign. What then does the party stand to gain from unleashing violence at Odinjo?
“We are confident that the people of Oyo State can see through the tissue of lies that have been the hallmark of Ladoja and his party. We are also confident that the investigation of the Nigeria Police will take cognizance of all these obvious facts,” the statement concluded.