APC, PDP trade words over ‘hate campaign, rigging’
THE All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) traded words yesterday over alleged religious hate campaign and revelation of a strategy to rig the August 9 poll.
Osun State APC Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy Kunle Oyatomi claimed that the PDP had intensified religious hate campaign, “but its efforts are failing dramatically.”
The party also alleged that a PDP state chairman allegedly boasted to close friends that the party’s “victory in Osun was a foregone conclusion.”
It claimed that the PDP chieftain said “the Presidency, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the police and Army” had finalised a plan to this effect.
But the state PDP Publicity Secretary, Prince Bola Ajao, while dismissing APC’s allegations, said the party was confident that it would win the election based on its candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore’s popularity.
The APC insisted that the PDP’s hate religious campaign would “become its albatross” since “Osun is predominantly Moslem and traditional religionists.”
The party added that a renegade Christian community has been accusing Aregbesola of being “an idol worshiper and therefore an anti-Christ and for this reason, Christians should vote for Omisore.”
It called the plan “the strategy of a drowning man who, unable to get popular support, is resorting to unwholesome tactics of inciting religious animosity.”
The party added that majority of Christians found the move objectionable and they have rebelled against the hate campaigns by some renegade pastors.
The APC also described as a “strange moment of mad arrogance” the boast credited to the PDP’s state party chairman that “any running up and down by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to avoid defeat is an exercise in futility.”
It added that the PDP chairman disclosed that “Osun masses would be jolted and embarrassed a few days to the election when the army and police would unleash militia dressed in full combat uniform and armed to the teeth would suddenly appear all over the state.”
It said the PDP chairman disclosed that “as the militia intimidates citizens on land,” security personnel and party chieftains would be “on patrol from the air and on ground of all polling units to ensure that nothing goes wrong. That was how we won Ekiti; we will repeat it in Osun.”
The APC claimed that the PDP chairman said the party would “capture Ijesha axis from Rauf, in the same style they made Fayemi in Ekiti to lose in his ward and that PDP is making serious efforts to penetrate Muslim leadership with large sum of cash.”
“The amount PDP has earmarked for distribution to Muslim leaders is N1 billion.
Efforts are being made to also compromise the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria in Osun State,” the APC alleged.
The statement also added that about N6.2 billion has been released to Omisore.
While alleging that INEC might have been “sucked” into the plan, the APC warned the PDP and others to be “ready for the consequences of their evil plot.”
The PDP Publicity Secretary said the APC was only frustrated.
Ajao said: “It is unfortunate that the APC is crying foul. They have forgotten that Omisore is always being welcomed by huge crowd and open arms wherever he goes to campaign. By the grace of God, come August 9, the PDP will coast home with victory. We have gauged the people’s temperature and we are sure of victory.”
On the allegation that the PDP was promoting religious hatred against the APC governorship candidate, he said the PDP was conscious of diverse religious interest in the state.
He described the allegation as a cheap blackmail by the APC to win the people’s sympathy.