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APC,SDP In Verbal War As Ekiti Elects Governor


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, and his Social Democratic Party (SDP) counterpart, Engr. Segun Oni, were last night locked in a war of words, heightening tension ahead of today’s election.

Oni accused the APC, which is the ruling party in the state, of intimidating its supporters. The APC dismissed the allegation as a lie.

Security agents went round the major streets of the state capital, Ado Ekiti, yesterday in a signal to potential trouble makers to think twice while the police announced a restriction on vehicular movement from 12 a.m. to 6 p.m. today.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said everything was in place to have a successful election.

Engineer Oni, during a press conference in Ado Ekiti, accused the APC of unlawful arrest and intimidation of SDP supporters for the purpose of demobilising them ahead of the polls.

This, according to him, was a breach of the peace agreement initiated by the Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar-led National Peace Commission.

Oni said rather than adhering strictly to the democratic tenets and ethos in the conduct of the governorship poll, those he described as “oppressors” had been unleashing terror on his supporters with fake soldiers.

He cited the case of one of his supporters who “was arrested and detained for alleged kidnapping three days back, using a section of the police.”

“I will keep to the peace accord. But peace can only be absolutely protected when you are standing on justice, equity, truth and fair-play,” he said.

“But when you are kidnapping people, it renders every peace document invalid. Let us tell them not to set this state on fire.



“Those who had been going round to kidnap my supporters should be called to order now. They are testing the patience and tolerance of the people.

“They shouldn’t set this state on fire. If anybody commits offence and they think they are the authorities to go round and be arresting people at night, then the peace accord becomes shattered immediately,” he said.

He asked INEC and the security agencies to shun partisanship and provide a level playing for all candidates.

But the Director of Media and Publicity, Biodun Oyebanji Campaign Organisation, Hon. Taiwo Olatunbosun, dismissed the SDP allegation, describing it as malicious and puerile.

He said Oni resorted to cheap lies to gain public sympathy preparatory to the election, having realised that the majority of Ekiti people had abandoned his ambition for Oyebanji.

Olatunbosun said the SDP 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.

“SDP should stop chasing shadow. Are they saying APC is a security agent or agency? APC is not Police, DSS, and Civil Defence, so why are they accusing us of arrest of their supporters?

Armed soldiers, policemen and operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and those of the Ekiti State Security Network codenamed ‘Amotekun’ yesterday patrolled the major streets of Ado Ekiti in Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) in a show of force ahead of the governorship election in the state.


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