The national chairman of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Dan Nwanyawu, has said that Abiola Ajimobi, the governor of Oyo State, would be held responsible if anything happens to Rotimi Ajanaku.
Mr Ajanaku is ZLP’s House of Representatives candidate in Ibadan North West/ Ibadan South West Federal constituency in the forthcoming elections.
Mr Nwanyanwu gave this warning on Tuesday while speaking at a mega rally of the party held in Mapo Hall, Ibadan, the state capital.
At the rally were former governor of the state, Rashidi Ladoja; gubernatorial candidate of the ZLP in the state, Sharafadeen Alli; and thousands of the party’s supporters, both within and outside the state.
Mr Nwanyanwu, who declared that everybody has a right to belong to the political party of his or her choice, alleged that the ZLP candidate had been receiving threats since he left the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The national chairman warned Mr Ajimobi and the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, to respect the rights of the party’s candidates to seek people’s votes without any hindrances.
Mr Nwanyanwu, who presented ZLP flags to the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Mr Alli; the three senatorial candidates and all the 14 house of Representatives candidates, said nothing must happen to Mr Ajanaku.
He said Mr Ajanaku’s entry into the race “has continued to send jitters than the spines of the ruling party and its candidate in the constituency”.
He solicited the votes of the electorate for Mr Alli, whom he described as “a man with character”.
“He is the best man for the job. Check if any of other candidates has the character of Alli, he is the finest of them all,” Mr Nwanyanwu said.
“Vote for him and he will work for you. Alli will restore lost glories in education, especially Oyo state rating in WAEC and develop LAUTECH”.
While commending the appointment of the new IGP, he urged him to call his commissioners to order, and direct them to be fair to all political parties.
“Nigerians are saying it must not be business as usual. They should stop harassing our people before, during and after the elections. They must allow people to choose freely through the ballot.
“I, therefore, urge the people of Oyo State to vote out non-performers because they have no business being in government.
“Governor Ajimobi, if anything happens to Ajanaku, we will hold you responsible. Everybody is free to belong to a party of his or her choice, enough of harassment of our candidates”.
The publicity secretary of the APC, Abdulazeez Olatunde, while reacting to the development, said the matter is beyond the APC and ZLP.
Mr Olatunde, who said the matter has been taken to court, added that though Mr Ajanaku has the right to belong to any political party of his choice, he should go and clear his name with the police and in the court.
“This is beyond what the ZLP is telling you, journalists. Somebody has been caught, they were found in Ajanaku’s vehicle. They have been found with arms,” Mr Olatunde said in a telephone conversation with PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday morning.
“It is beyond the issue that the APC is threatening the ZLP. It is all about the police, please. So it is not the APC that is threatening them. It is the police.
“So let them go and clear their name. Nobody is threatening anybody. Everybody has the right to contest. That is our stand. They should face their electioneering”.