By Abimbola Ogunnaike
Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu, has raised the alarm that he might be killed for taken his case to the election petition tribunal.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared that Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the March 18 gubernatorial election after scoring 276,298 votes.
Adebutu, who polled 262,383 votes, came second in the election, losing to Abiodun with 13,915 vote margin.
But, the PDP said the electoral body made the declaration in error as it failed to take into account the number of cancelled votes, which they said are more than 40,000.
To show his dissatisfaction, Adebutu had a few days after the election, led his supporters in a peaceful protest to the INEC office in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, asking the commission to review the process.
Speaking at a Conference of Political Parties in Abeokuta, the state capital on Monday, 3 April, 2023, Adebutu said he had been warned to mind himself wherever he goes.
The candidate said he had intelligence report that he should, henceforth, avoid crowded areas, because he might be killed one day.
While saying he does not pray to die, the Iperu-born politician said he is confident that the mandate belongs to the PDP and the people, saying it would be reclaimed even if he dies.
“I’ve been warned that I should mind myself wherever I go, that I should not go to crowded areas because, maybe one day I will be killed.
“The truth of the matter is that it is a PDP mandate. I don’t pray to die, but it is a PDP mandate and it is the people’s mandate. I am sure it will be easy to reclaim even if they kill me,” he said.
“We are determined; if they want to kill us, it’s okay. They brought killers from Lagos to attack our candidate in Sagamu. Luckily, the man escaped through the balcony,” Adebutu added.
While condemning “the attacks on PDP members in Ogun,” especially in Remo axis of the State, charging security agencies to stop turning blind eyes to the attacks on his supporters, he called on the people of the state not to allow anybody to make them prisoners in their own towns and villages, stating that “we are all Nigerians.”
“If you continue to allow them to abuse your rights unabridged, you will become their prisoner. You must resist the abuses. I will not become a prisoner in Nigeria.
“They want to compel you to start hiding at home. I am not going to do that. I’m going to go everywhere,” he said.
Meanwhile, Adebutu said the party has approached the tribunal to seek redress, expressing confidence that he would win at the tribunal.