Osun PDP Rejects UI Vice Chancellor as Returning Officer, Seek Arrests of Amotekun by IGP

Osun PDP Rejects UI Vice Chancellor as Returning Officer, Seek Arrests of Amotekun by IGP




TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE JOINT LEGAL, MEDIA AND SECURITY COMMITTEE OF THE OSUN STATE GOVERNORSHIP CAMPAIGN COUNCIL OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRACTIC PARTY TODAY JUNE 20 AT OSOGBO, OSUN STATE CAPITAL*

Gentlemen of the press,

We call this press conference to bring to the notice of Nigerians certain troubling developments that portends danger ahead of the upcoming July 16th Governorship election. We are here to list emerging time bombs the state chapter of the All Progressive Congress is planting to pre-determine the outcome of the forthcoming polls and deny suffering masses of Osun state the constitutionally guaranteed rights to select their Governor under a free and fair electoral process.

Our press briefing is focussing on three evil agenda of the APC whose implementation has started going by recent sad developments in the state. These include direct violence on PDP leaders and supporters, appointment of a compromised State Returning Officer in person of the Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan and deployment of ill gotten wealth to buy votes and compromise the electoral architecture. At a time the PDP is mobilising the people of the state for mass participation, we regret to announce that the APC is preoccupied with how to kill, maim and rig the election under an advanced anti-people agenda.

1. KILLINGS, MAIMING OF PDP SUPPORTERS

In the last three weeks, APC has embarked on a systematic attacks on PDP supporters using the Amotekun operatives. This violent agenda reached a peak few days ago with the gruesome killing in cold blood of Akinpelu Kasim & Waheed Adebayo and shooting of Adesina Opeyemi, innocent citizens, who were shot dead by some AMOTEKUN Corps on Tuesday 14th June, 2022, around 9am at Asoje Area, Osogbo, Osun State. It is regrettable that the AMOTEKUN Security Outfit established for the purpose of strengthening regional security of boundaries to curb the activities of bandits, kidnappers, terrorists, etc has now become a tool of oppression and attack in the hands of some desperate politicians of the ruling Party in Osun State, the APC, launching offensive weapons and dangerous ammunition to intimidate, oppress and harass members of the PDP in Osun State so as to desperately have their way in the coming Osun Governorship election in less than 30days from now. The height of the criminality was the killing of the duo of Akinpelu Kasim & Waheed Adebayo and grievous bodily harm inflicted on Adesina Opeyemi who were innocent, harmless and armless but still gunned down by some overzealous AMOTEKUN Corps.

The said AMOTEKUN corps are providing cover for the APC political thugs and move around with the said thugs to intimidate and oppress especially members of the PDP, but this has now degenerated to shooting at and killing of innocent citizens. The identified Amotekun Corps are (1)Tajudeen Adeleke (2)Azeez Tirimisiyu (3) Adeoye Lateef (4) Nafisat (5) Olawuyi Opeyemi (5) Odelade Adetayo (6) Adegbesan Adebayo (7) Idowu Fatai (7) Ajiboye Oluwaseun (8) Afolabi Peter (9) Ayobami Obaluwa.

A notorious thug, masquerading as chieftain of National Union of Road Transport Workers in the State, ASIRI ENIBA and his squad are the major tools of the violent attacks, but the dimension introduced to it by the Osun State Command of South West Security Outfit called the AMOTEKUN is worrisome, insulting, offensive and criminal to the extent that killing, maiming and harassment of citizens is now business as usual. It is also regrettable to note that the said ASIRI ENIBA has some security details (SPU) attached to him by the Osun State Command of the Nigerian Police, influenced by the Governor Oyetola led APC governmemt in Osun State. This gives him a free hand and the impetus to operate wickedly and violently while the police always looked the other way.

We want the police authorities, especially the Inspector General, (IGP) Alkali Baba Usman, to note that tension is building up on this unchecked spree of killings and attacks in Osun State and a stitch in time as it is often said, saves nine.

2. APPOINTMENT OF PROF KAYODE ADEBOWALE, VICE CHANCELLOR, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN, AS STATE RETURNING OFFICER OF JULY 16TH ELECTION

As much as we have confidence that adherence to the spirit and letters of the Electoral Act will guarantee free and fair election, we reject the appointment of Prof Adebowale as State Returning Officer for the July 16th election on account of partisanship and affiliation with the All Progressive Congress as a party, through the party’s former national chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun (the chairman of the governing council and pro chancellor of University of Ibadan), the Governor -elect of Ekiti state, Mr Biodun Oyebanji and his membership of alumni association of Ayedaade Grammar School, Ikire of which Osun state deputy governor is a member.

It is particularly troubling that the Vice Chancellor was part of Ekiti APC campaign on more than five occasions. He was specifically very close the family of the Ekiti Governor elect before and during the campaigns.

It would therefore be unfair to the mantra of free and fair election for such a figure with close affinity to the APC to be appointed State Returning Officer for the July 16 elections. Prof Adebowale is not just an appointee of Oyegun led Council, he is clearly a member of the inner circle of APC going by his recent activities.

We therefore call on the National Chairman of INEC, Prof Mamhood Yakubu to urgently withdraw the appointment of Prof Adebowale and appoint a new neutral Returning Officer for Osun poll. We warn that we will not allow an APC sympathiser to superintend over Osun election as was the case in 2018.

3. PLOT TO BUY UP VOTES AND ELECTORAL OUTCOME

We want to bring to the attention of Nigerians and relevant authorities that APC had just test run its agenda to buy up votes and the electoral outcomes through the recently concluded Ekiti elections. As was documented in Ekiti, Osun APC is plotting a more advanced vote buying mechanism which has element of pre- voting and on the spot vote purchase.

Reports from across Osun state in the last two weeks revealed that APC has been collating the PVC details of public servants , teachers and pensioners. The plot is to engage in pre-election vote buying alongside election day vote purchase.

We are elated that Osun workers yearning for freedom have refused cooperation despite threats and coercion. We commend the resilience of Osun workers, teachers and pensioners who have rejected attempt to buy them and deny them right to freely elect their leaders.

We are however using this medium to call on the security and anti-corruption agencies to redouble their efforts towards taming the APC vote buying agenda. We warn against any attempt to cover up the many evidence of vote buying plots by the APC. Osun is not for sale to political vultures and it is high time Apc heeded the frank warning from our people.

OUR DEMANDS

Gentlemen of the press, we state our demands as follows:

A. Immediate arrest of the notorious APC thugs led by ASIRI ENIBA for the purpose of investigating their criminal activities and bringing them to justice;

B. Immediate arrest of the identified AMOTEKUN Corps who shot and killed the innocent citizens on the said 14th June, 2022 in Sabo area, Osogbo;

C. Investigating the activities of the Osun AMOTEKUN and determining their scope of operation and reasons for their meddling in the electoral process and affairs of politicians in Osun State;

D. Immediate withdrawal of the Police SPU Security details attached to the said notorious thug, ASIRI ENIBA;

E. Immediate investigation into the murder of Akinpelu Kasim & Waheed Adebayo and the shooting of Adesina Opeyemi and prompt and diligent prosecution of those found culpable;

F. Reinforcement of men of the Zonal and State Command to ensure adequate security for citizens.

G. We reject the appointment of Prof Adebowale as State Returning Officer and demand the appointment of a neutral STO by INEC.

H. We demand sanction against APC for its criminal plot to subvert the electoral process through elaborate vote buying agenda;

I. We demand neutrality and fairness among state agencies during the conduct of the forthcoming elections.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the PDP Governorship Campaign Council has by this press briefing serves notice on all relevant authorities, stakeholders and agencies that peaceful conduct of July 16th election is under threat. The culprit as usual is the ruling party which is scared of peoples imminent rejection. We want to make it clear that Osun is not Ekiti as our people will lawfully resist all attempts to rob them as was done in 2018.

Signed.
Barrister Niyi Owolade
Chairman, Legal Committee,

Prince Diran Odeyemi
Chairman, Media And Strategy Committee

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