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General News of Sunday, 8 January 2023


Adeleke, Oyetola bicker over rise in political violence

Senator Ademola Adeleke and Adegboyega Oyetola Senator Ademola Adeleke and Adegboyega Oyetola

The Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has decried the rise in violent activities, including vandalisation of campaign posters and billboards, in the state.

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

A statement on Saturday by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, 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 then called on politicians and their supporters to remain peaceful, urging all to imbibe the culture of harmonious campaign devoid of thuggery and untoward activities.

The statement partly read, “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.”

Reacting, 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.”

Omipidan, who listed a series of attacks perpetrated by hoodlums allegedly sponsored by PDP on members of APC, also 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 penchant 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?”