PDP, ACPN Trade Words Over Political Violence

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The Kwara State chapter of Peoples Democractic Party(PDP) and Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) have  blamed each other over the  crisis that erupted during the visit of President Goodluck Jonathan that  resulted in the destruction of posters and bill boards of the parties.

The PDP Campaign Organsiation headed by  Alhaji Abdul-Fatah Ahmed in  a statement issued and signed by his Director, Media and Publicity, Deji Oni accused opponents of carrying out the act because they were not comfortable with the popularity of PDP in the state.

According to the statement,”the Legacy Continuity Kwara 2011 of the PDP Campaign Organization has observed with displeasure the wanton destruction and defacing of billboards and campaign posters of political parties particularly those of Alhaji Abdul-Fatah Ahmed across the length and breadth of Ilorin metropolis and its environs.

“This dastardly and cowardly act of political desperation is basically carried out by the political opponents of our great party who are uncomfortable with the track record of achievement of our party and candidates.”

But the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) has denied the report that some weapons and ammunition was discovered at the residence of the governorship candidate of the party, Senator Rukayat Gbemisola Saraki on Tuesday night.

The spokesperson of the party Alhaji Abdullahi Oganija disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday while reacting to the allegation.

According to him, no security agent visited the Senator’s house on Tuesday night stressing, that it was the thugs of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that were about to invade the residence of the Senator when some security agents accosted them.

He mentioned further that nothing as such took place at the residence of their governorship candidate for the April general elections as the party appeals for calm so that the state can witnessed peace.

PDP which insisted that it will continue to pursue its mandate and contract with the good people of Kwara State added “we hereby call on all political actors in the state to engage in politics of issues and not that of destruction. We enjoin every politician to desist from all acts of vandalism that will only heat up the polity in the state.

“Our policy of Smart Campaign is that which is based on our time-tested manifesto and programmes all geared towards the  welfare of the good people of Kwara State. We call on all kwarans to join hands with us in this onerous task and desist from destruction of the campaign materials of political opponents and concentrate on politics of issues and campaign that would promote the development of Kwara state.

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Similarly,the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Correspondent Chapel Kwara State chapter has expressed displeasure over the attack of five members of the chapel on Tuesday22 February 20011 along Offa Road GRA Ilorin by suspected members of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) while they were coming from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential campaign.

The members attacked were Hameed Shitthu of Thisday newspaper, Layi Olanrewaju of The SUN newspaper, Emmanuel Addeh of Punch newspaper, Abioye Olanrewaju of the Premier and Wole Adedeji of National Mirror newspaper.

In statement signed by the Chapel Chairman, Rev Felix Ajide and Secretary Michael Olanrewaju and made available to newsmen  Ilorin, the chapel sees the attack as a dangerous dimension where gentlemen coming from national assignment could be harassed and attacked by political hoodlums.

The chapel appealed to the relevant security authorities to investigate and possibly arrest and prosecute the hoodlums involved in the attack to serve as deterrent to others who may foment trouble in future.

It also warned the political class not to rely on the use of thuggery and violence in the attempt to achieve their political ambition. This is because the chapel has vowed to use all machinery at its disposal to expose the politicians behind the violent hoodlums.

The chapel therefore called on the security agents to be alive to their responsibilities of protecting lives and property of innocent citizens.

The chapel also reminded all political parties in the state of adequate and unbiased coverage of their events and activities.

By Stephen  Oni/Ilorin

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