Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has reiterated the allegations made by the immediate past Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro that the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) federal task force was a tool by the Peoples Democratic Party leaders to unleash electoral violence.
The party, therefore, called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, to investigate the claim by the ex-minister.
Obanikoro had following his shocking defeat at the Lagos PDP guber primary last week alleged that officials of the task force were hired by a leader of the party in the state, Chief Bode George, to perpetuate violence.
However, the Lagos APC in a statement by its state publicity secretary, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, on Sunday, said security agencies should not take the allegations with a pinch of salt as it could threaten the conduct of the elections next year.
The party described the task force as a ruse with which the PDP “is recruiting and arming hoodlums with the money realised from the inhuman increment of fuel pump price in January 2012”.
The APC said that the revelation from a group within the Lagos PDP called “Action Support for Democracy” that George used armed thugs in SURE-P vehicle to rig the contentious Lagos PDP governorship primary for his choice, Jimmy Agbaje, had “proved the nefarious role SURE-P is being used in Lagos”.
It added, “We are surprised that the relevant security agencies have been looking the other way since this illegal task force started assembling. We raised the alarm that the PDP, in its desperation, is diverting parts of the SURE-P funds for which Nigerians have been subjected to untold suffering towards forming an armed and illegal group that are being used to cause mayhem and collateral damage in the peace and security of Lagos and for the purpose of rigging the next elections.
“We recall that this illegal group had started contesting for the territorial land of Lagos and for the control of traffic in the metropolis, which is a huge ruse to confuse Nigerians about their real mission.
“While we call on relevant security agencies and the National Assembly to investigate the illegal federal task force in Lagos and the real purpose for its setting up, we call on all Lagosians to take cognisance of this group and its purpose, which has now been confirmed by a leading member of the PDP”.