The accusation by the Oyo State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, that the Labour Party, LP, gubernatorial candidate in the state, Adebayo Alao-Akala,was responsible for the assault carried out against some members of the APC at Bodija area of Ibadan on Wednesday, has been described as an attempt to tarnish the “soaring popularity” of the former governor.
The APC had issued a statement accusing the LP and its candidate of having a prepared script made up of political violence, rigging and inducement of voters to unleash on the people of the state in the February 2015 gubernatorial election having failed woefully to win a re-election in 2011.
But in his reaction, Mr. Alao-Akala, speaking through the director of public affairs of his campaign organisation, Oludare Ogunlana, dismissed the ruling party’s accusation. He said it was mere fabrication designed to whittle down his soaring popularity.
The former governor said he or his party had no reason to send thugs to attack APC members because “the incumbent administration has been rejected already and it is just a matter of weeks for the party and its candidates to be given a decent political burial.”
Although his tenure as governor (2007-2011) was characterised by series of violence, particularly ones constituted by members of National Union of Road Transport Workers, Mr. Alao-Akala insisted himself and his party were known for peace.
“LP and its candidates are known peacemakers in the society,” Mr. Alao-Akala said. “It was during APC rally under the watchful eyes of Governor Abiola Ajimobi that thugs killed a police officer.
“The struggle for power between two APC lawmakers of the State Assembly over who got the House of Representatives ticket to represent Akinyele/Lagelu Federal Constituency, which turned Ojoo area of the State to a war zone, is still fresh in the memory of the people. This is coming on the heels of false and hyped restoration of peace in the State.”
He, however, thanked traders and other members of the public for supporting the Labour Party and its candidates in the February election, adding that “immediately Adebayo Alao-Akala takes over, they will soon experience the good old days.”