• It’s a lie, says minister
Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Oyo State Government, has alleged a sinister plot by the ‘self-styled’ Unity Forum, a dissident group within the All Progressives Congress (APC), to burn down the party state secretariat, in its desperate bid to scuttle Saturday’s local government election and party congresses.
The government said it received intelligence report that members of the group have been holding clandestine meetings at different locations in Ibadan, to perfect the plot by recruiting thugs to carry out the hatchet job.
A statement, yesterday, by the Executive Assistant, Political, to the Governor, Dr. Morounkola Thomas, said the group included some members of the House of Representatives, a minister, as well as former and serving political office holders.
As a decoy, the state government said the same set of people have been going around and granting press interviews, claiming that Governor Abiola Ajimobi was after their lives.
The government said the group has been meeting in the homes of two of their members in Bodija and Samonda areas of Ibadan, with a view to causing chaos and panic among the people of Oyo State.
The government, however, warned the group to be prepared to bear the consequences of its planned action, having taken precautionary measures to scuttle the plans, while it urged law-abiding citizens to go about their businesses without fear.
“Oyo State is peaceful and will remain peaceful with the support of every law-abiding citizen. The governor has been a peace-loving leader and chief promoter of peace in the last seven years of his administration.
“He will, therefore, not fold his arms and allow any group or individual, irrespective of status, to take the state back to the dark era of political brigandage and violence.
“The protesting members of the House of Representatives and their leaders are all beneficiaries of Governor Ajimobi’s generosity and should be grateful to him, instead of biting the fingers that fed them…” the government said in the statement.
Meanwhile, Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, has described as a blatant lie, the allegation that the Unity Group intends to burn down the party secretariat.
He reacted to a statement issued by the Executive Assistant on Political Matters to Ajimobi, Dr. Morounkola Thomas, that “the self-styled unity forum, a dissident group” within the APC plotted to “burn down the state secretariat of the party in their desperate bid to scuttle Saturday’s local government election and party congresses.”
Shittu, who is a member of the unity forum, said the allegation was laughable and baseless.
“I have been in active politics since 1979 and there is no record of violence against me. I am a notable lawyer and a man of peace. I don’t fight my battles with cudgels, guns or other dangerous weapons but with my brain. Why would I involve in such when I am aspiring to govern the state?
“It is highly impossible for members of the unity forum, who suffered brutal attack on Saturday and are still suffering from the trauma to do such. On Saturday, they levelled allegations against us that we brought 150 thugs to the secretariat when we were actually attacked and driven out of the place. It was from the place that we sought cover at the Police Command in Ibadan. All these are just fabricated lies.”