The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde has condemned in strong terms, the spate of thuggery that has pervaded the political atmosphere of the state. He expressed his dissatisfaction with the situation while addressing a press conference at the Omi Tuntun House office of his campaign organization on Tuesday.
Engineer Makinde, who came in a Shooting Stars jersey said “the spate of political thuggery is assuming a worrisome dimension that should be of grave concern to all”. He went on to condemn the violent incidents that took place in places like Ogbomoso, Igbo Ora, Omi Adio, Oke Ado and Oyo.
“At a time when electioneering campaign has reached the final lap, there is 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”, Engineer Makinde said.
Urging politicians to exercise restraint, Makinde said “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”.
Describing Oyo State as the political capital of the South West, Makinde pointed out that “any uncontrolled political violence, if not quickly nipped in the bud can set the tone for escalation and spiral across the land”.
He asked politicians to sheathe their swords, call their followers to order and preach peace. “Our political differences must not be allowed to translate into street wars. Our ambition is not worth the blood of innocent civilians who struggle daily to make ends meet”.
The PDP candidate also used the opportunity to address the accusation of the All Progressives Congress that he deliberately avoided the governorship debate organized by the BBC. “Our campaign team had fixed a 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 choose to meet our people at Oranyan, Oke Odo, Felele, Orita Aperin, Beere and Odinjo among other areas. The APC cannot arrange my schedule for me”, he said.
He wondered why the APC did not raise similar alarm on Wednesday January 16 when he attended the first ever Farmers Public Debate and Mr. Bayo Adelabu who was similarly invited did not turn up. He also pointed out that the APC candidate did not attend the debate organized by Radio Nigeria, both of which he, Makinde attended. He cautioned the APC against “blaming others for crimes they constantly commit”.