Adeleke, Oyetola Trade Words Over Political Violence In Osun

Ademola Adeleke, the Osun State governor, has lamented the rise in violent activities, including vandalisation of campaign posters and billboards, in the state.

Adeleke, while addressing leaders in the state, also condemned the increasing disruptive nature of campaigns in some areas of the state.

Olawale Rasheed, the governors spokesperson in a statement on Saturday, quoted the governor as saying that the state had witnessed a rise in political violence since his predecessor, Adegboyega Oyetola, returned to the state.

He urged politicians and their supporters to remain peaceful, while beckoning on all to imbibe the culture of harmonious campaign devoid of thuggery.

The statement read in part, “Violent activities including vandalisation of campaign posters and billboards increased in the last five days after former Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s return to the state. The former governor had openly preached revolt against state authorities.

“I particularly condemn the increasing vandalisation of campaign posters and billboards ahead of the elections. I was a victim during the last governorship election. Politicians should know that the people are the ultimate decider of their leaders.

“Those involved in this violent acts must stop forthwith. I’m also directing security agencies to arrest and prosecute anybody caught destroying candidates’ billboards and posters irrespective of party affiliations. We must restore sanity, law and order in our electoral process.”

In reaction, the media aide to the former governor, Ismail Omipidan, said the allegation that violent activities in Osun had risen since Oyetola returned to the state was “a mischievous and wickedly calculated plot to smear the ex-governor’s reputation.”

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Omipidan, who listed a series of attacks perpetrated by hoodlums allegedly sponsored by PDP on members of APC, challenged the government to name just one violent incident that had taken place around Oyetola since he returned to Osun from his vacation.

According to Omipidan, the PDP and Adeleke’s affinity for violence is well known.

He said, “It is on record that even the governor as the governor-elect had to issue a public caution to his supporters to celebrate moderately and stop visiting violence on innocent Osun citizens when they began attacking us after the announcement.

“But since then, it never abated. Contrary to their claims, political violence has been on the rise in the state since November 27 when they took over. The first one was recorded at the venue of the swearing-in on Sunday, November 27, when his men attacked Amotekun operatives. These violent incidents, some of which led to loss of lives, are well documented by the people of the state.

“There have been a series of attacks in the state before my principal, Oyetola, returned to the state on Monday, January 2.

“For instance, on December 23, PDP thugs attempted to assassinate one of our former commissioners in the public glare in Ilesa.

“Again, on December 28, PDP thugs invaded Best Suites and Hotel at the Freedom Park, in Osogbo, run by one of our former commissioners, beat up everyone in sight, including guests, and even injured the manager of the place. They also emptied the bar. Was my principal in town on that day?

“Was my principal in town on December 31st when PDP openly engaged themselves in a supremacy battle at the venue of the New Year crossover night?”