The Osun State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised alarm over what it describes as the ongoing Gestapo-like arrest of its top leaders, calling the development “a threat to democracy”. In a statement issued to journalists and tagged “Osun Is Under Siege”, the State Caretaker Chairman of the party, Dr Adekunle Akindele, said that the party had woken up to rumors that armed men, both from the Nigerian police and notorious APC thugs imported from Lagos, were being disguised as police operatives to cause mayhem and unrest in Osun State.
According to Dr. Akindele, these armed men were ferried into the state and were given handouts of leaders and members of the PDP to be arrested and detained for no just cause. He stated that the PDP leaders were being hunted and arrested in Gestapo style, with houses of PDP leaders being surrounded and razed without a search warrant. When PDP leaders were not found at home, their families were arrested, and their cars were taken away on various false pretenses.
Dr. Akindele noted that an undemocratic statewide operation was ongoing, designed to pick and lock up prominent PDP leaders ahead of the next state election. He expressed surprise that such a mass raid was being conducted against a ruling political party, which was in clear violation of fundamental human rights of those affected. He further alleged that the operation was targeting PDP members rather than the culprits, who were attacking PDP members on a daily basis. Dr. Akindele stated that PDP members were the victims of APC violence and that now PDP members were the ones being arrested.
The Osun State PDP chapter claimed that five of its members were killed at Ilesa shortly after the visit of the state Governor. Four members of the PDP were killed by rampaging APC thugs in Ila Orangun, and four of its members were gunned down by an APC squad in Irewole. The party also alleged that across the state, APC militants had been harassing and maiming PDP members. Dr. Akindele lamented that the Police Commissioner had not been professional in the discharge of his duties, and that all petitions from the PDP on violent attacks on its members had not been attended to. He accused the state election Commissioner of being biased and partisan, and called for his immediate redeployment.
The Osun State PDP chapter alleged that all these were ploys to disrupt the peace of Osun State ahead of the rescheduled house of assembly election slated for next Saturday. They claimed that APC chieftains had become the mouthpiece of the Nigerian police, analyzing who and who to arrest and for crimes that best suited their whims. Dr. Akindele expressed fears that security institutions had been compromised in the state, and called on President Muhammadu Buhari, as the father and chief security officer of the nation, to beam his searchlight on the nefarious plans of the APC to disrupt the peace of the state using the police ahead of the coming election. He warned that an unjust arrest or detaining leaders of the party in the guise of plotting against the people of the state would bear unpalatable consequences.
Dr. Akindele further stated that election should not be a war for those who are in good stead in deeds and acceptability to the people, who are constitutionally empowered to choose their representatives at all levels of government. He reiterated that no democracy would thrive under a forced or fraudulent process, which was the bane of the immediate past administration in the state. He called on the Inspector-General of Police to conduct a proper investigation of APC political warmong.