The gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday urged the heads of the security agencies in the state to move fast and douse the tension created as a result of the recent political violence in the state.
Makinde made this declaration while addressing journalists at a press conference held at his campaign office in Ibadan, the state capital.
Our Correspondence recalls that the state in the last two weeks, had witnessed no fewer than five political violence in Ibadan, Oyo, Ibarapa and Ogbomoso geo-political zones.
Our correspondent recalls that one person was shot in Ogbomoso when members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Action Democratic Party (ADP) clashed three weeks ago.
Some PDP members were also attacked in Ojoo area of Ibadan, last week. Two people also died when some members of APC were also attacked in Igbo Ora area of Ibarapa geo-political zone during the weekend.
But, Makinde while condemning the spate of violence that have greeted the campaigns of the gubernatorial candidates in the state, maintained that there was a need for the security agencies in the state to move fast to douse further tension and save lives and properties at a time when electioneering campaign has reached the final lap.
Makinde, who insisted that both the Commissioner of Police and the Director of State Security counterpart must call an emergency meeting of leaders of all the political parties and commit them to an undertaking of peace, described the recent political violence in the state as “something that does not worth it”.
He said, “While it is a fact that I had addressed the issue of political violence and thuggery in the course of the on-going campaign, it has become even more urgent on my part, that a formal pronouncement be made to drive home the implication of complacency in this very serious development.
“Apart from a few skirmishes here and there, the spate of political thuggery and violence is assuming a worrisome dimension that should be of grave concern to all. In the past two weeks alone, violent incidents have been witnessed across the state in places like Ogbomoso, Igbo ora, Ojoo, Omi Adio, Oke Ado and only yesterday in Oyo.
“At a time when electioneering campaign has reached the final lap, there is a need for our security agencies to move fast to douse further tension and save lives and properties. We strongly recommend that both the Commissioner of Police and his Director of State Security counterpart must call an emergency meeting of leaders of all the political parties and commit them to an undertaking of peace.
“Our people are already traumatised as a result of grinding poverty and avoidable lack and it will be ungodly to saddle them with gory scenes of bloodletting just because some politicians are scared of relinquishing power that is not a birthright. Yorubas say, “Oosa, b’ole gbemi, fimile bose bami”.
“Oyo state is the political capital of the South West and any uncontrolled political violence if not quickly nipped in the bud can set the tone for escalation and spiral across the land. I want to join our religious leaders and traditional rulers to ask we politicians to sheath our sword, call our followers to order and preach peace because our political differences must not be allowed to translate into street wars. Our ambition is not worth the blood of innocent citizens who struggle daily to make ends meet.
“Let me seize this opportunity to address briefly the accusation of the APC that I deliberately avoided the BBC organised gubernatorial debate. Our campaign team had fixed our schedule for Ibadan South East weeks before the BBC invited me to a debate which fell on the same day. I therefore used my discretion to chose to meet our people at Oranyan, Oke odo, Felele,Orita aperin, Beere and Odinjo among other local areas. The APC cannot arrange my schedule for me.
“In any case why did the APC not raise similar alarm on wednesday January 16 when I attended the first ever Farmers Public Debate and Mr Bayo Adelabu who was similarly invited did not turn up and neither did he attend the Radio Nigeria- organised gubernatorial debate last Sunday to which he was expressly invited. I was there. Let APC stop mischief and accusing others of what they are guilty of.”