With a week to the June 18 Ekiti State governorship election, two major opposition parties, the Social Democratic Party and the Peoples Democratic Party, have raised the alarm over an alleged plot by the governing All Progressives Congress to harass their members on the election day to prevent them from voting.
But the Director of Media, Biodun Oyebanji Campaign Organisation, Biodun Olatunbosun, dismissed the allegation, saying the opposition parties having been faced with the reality of the moment, had been resorting to falsehood to whip up sentiment preparatory to their failure at the poll.
The Director-General, Segun Oni Campaign Organisation, Ambassador Dare Bejide, who expressed confidence that the SDP candidate, Chief Segun Oni, would win the June 18 election, based on his antecedent and broad support, raised the alarm that other parties were jittery, hence plotting to keep away SDP supporters on Election Day.
Bejide said, “What they are now saying, particularly the APC, is that they are going to bring external parties to rig the election; they are talking of federal might. They are talking of violence and they are talking of vote buying; they feel that they have money that they will use for the election and they have not told us the source of their wealth
“The other parties, knowing full well that we have the people, are saying they will not allow our people to vote on the day. That is why they are saying they will unleash violence on our people before and during the election.
“They have been saying they will arrest our leaders before the election to prevent them from taking part in the election. Our fear is that they may resort to vote buying during the election, we have alerted all the security agencies and we believe that on that day, the security agencies will do the needful,” the SOCO DG said.
Also, the Director of Media and Publicity, Bisi Kolawole Campaign Organisation, Lere Olayinka, who said the June 18 election would be won by the PDP candidate, Bisi Kolawole, in view of the performance of the party and the quality and planned programmes of the candidate, accused the APC of planning to unleash violence on the day of election
But the Director of Media, Biodun Oyebanji Campaign Organisation, Taiwo Olatunbosun, who said that the June 18 election would be won by the APC governorship candidate, Biodun Oyebanji, dismissed SDP and PDP allegations, describing them as frivolities
Olayinka said, “We (the PDP) are aware that some people are threatening that they have procured canes, that they will be harassing people at the polling units; we are aware that some people have even mobilised thugs.
“Even when looking at the campaign of APC in the state now, you will see a lot of violence during their campaign, people moving with broken bottles, firing gunshots etc. It portends danger to this election. Our fear mainly is about security of lives and property; it is about ensuring people are allowed to exercise their franchise in a peaceful atmosphere.
“Election is not war. The people of Ekiti should be allowed to make their choice in a peaceful environment. We hope the security agencies will do their job and protect the people of Ekiti State and make the election peaceful. I am saying this because of the antecedents of the party in power in Ekiti State, APC,” Olayinka said.
Olatunbosun said the SDP and PDP were “trying to get unnecessary attention. If they know that they don’t have candidates who can win election, they should quit the race. They should stop all these unnecessary insinuations and assumptions.