Segun Showunmi in Ibadan
The primary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aimed to produce candidates for the forthcoming local government election in Oyo State, turned violent on Monday following alleged involvement members of proscribed National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW)
Penpushing reports that the exercise was disrupted in Lagelu local government following allegation that one of the party chairmanship aspirants in Lagelu, Gbadamosi Adeyemi, allegedly mobilized members of the proscribed National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to disrupt and hijack the process in the local government.
The exercise which was scheduled to hold at Community Primary School, Alegongo was however, allegedly disrupted by said members of the road union, who came in about 40 vehicles.
Penpushing further reports that, alleged distruption occurred even before the arrival of supervisors, party delegates, party members, and other critical stakeholders who are expected to be on ground before commencement of the exercise.
The three Chairmanship aspirants, Babalola Asimiyu, Kelani Abdulahi Sola, and Taiwo Adesina, out of the 9 aspirants in Lagelu in a statement unanimously signed and made available to journalists alleged that the exercise was a total contraction of the principle of internal democracy which Governor Seyi Makinde as well as Oyo State Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) represents.
Penpushing also reports that the trio therefore, dissociated themselves from the party primary which was alleged to be marred with violence and gross irregularities that resulted to one of the aspirants, Hon. Olufemi Ajibade, being seriously injured and currently receiving medical attention at an undisclosed hospital.
The chairmanship aspirants explained that the aim of Gbadamosi going to the extent of mobilizing hoodlums and thugs to the venue of the primaries was to use the transport union members to wreck havoc on party members who had converged peacefully and conducting themselves in a peaceful manner for the purpose of electing who should represent them at the forthcoming local government election slated for May 15.
Penpushing reports that, the three aspirants who spoke with journalists said that no fewer than three other aspirants have withdrawn from contesting following being fearful for their lives and the fear of terror which has been speculated before commencement of the party primaries.
“We are not party to today’s disrupted party primaries occasioned by Hon Gbadamosi and his thugs from NURTW who besieged the venue of the primaries with over 200 boys who came in over 40 vehicles to create fear, cause violence, and hijack the exercise with the sole aim of making a kangaroo self pronouncement as winner of the primary’.
“We call on Governor Seyi Makinde as the father and leader of our great party, our party leaders in Oyo state especially in Lagelu local government, to as a matter of urgency call this desperate fellow to order as we have completely dissociated ourselves from today’s process’.
“We urge our party leaders and various committees of the party saddled with the responsibility of monitoring local government primaries across the 33 local government to urgently reschedule a new date for Lagelu so that we can call peacefully without terror or intimidation participate in our party primary by exercising our rights as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution,” the aspirants said.
Penpushing further reports that, the lawmaker representing Lagelu State Constituency at the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Akintunde Olajide, in his reaction decried the disruption and described it as “desperation taken too far by any aspirants,”
The lawmaker popularly called AKT however, called for calm stressing that nothing meaningful can be achieved in any atmosphere of terror and violence urging other aspirants to ensure peace and orderliness in their various wards.
Penpushing also reports that Olajide maintained that the party hierarchy will surely look into the situation with the aim of ensuring the spirit of equity and justice among party faithfuls.
“I understand the anger and frustration of our party aspirants following the disruption of today’s primaries by just one aspirant who had taken his desperation to the extreme. This is obviously nothing to call democratic process but we all know what our able governor and party leader stands for’.
“Governor Makinde is the father of modern day democracy no doubt and the PDP remains the toast of other politicians so we will not allow anyone individual to attempt to subvert the collective will of our people by trying to superimpose themselves on the collective will of the party via instrumentality of political brigandage, violence, and sheer abuse of political opportunities,” he stated.
Meanwhile, as at the time of filing this report, Hon. Adeyemi, who is the current Caretaker Chairman of Lagelu West Local Council Development Area (LCDA) Hon Adeyemi was however, not available for comment.
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