By Steve Oni, Ilorin.
Women in the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in Kwara state have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct security agencies in the country to apprehend and prosecute all those who have been disturbing the peace of Kwara State and their sponsors.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Tuesday, women leader of the party in the state, Alhaja Ramat Oganija, flanked by other women in black attires, said that they were saddened by the recent orgy of violence by political thugs.
It is recalled that political thugs had unleashed mayhem in the Ilorin metropolis in past few days, whereby many innocent people sustained gunshot wounds and valuable property destroyed.
Alhaja Oganija also urged the President to use his planned visit to Ilorin on Wednesday, not only to campaign but to ask party men to end all their criminalities in the name of politics.
“We urge President Muhammadu Buhari, as the father of the nation to look beyond party affiliation, and partisanship and direct the security agencies to apprehend and prosecute all those who have been disturbing the peace of Kwara State and their sponsors.
The president should use his visit to Ilorin not only to campaign but to ask his party men to end all their criminalities in the name of politics”, she said.
The PDP women blamed the incessant attacks on members of the party by political thugs loyal to a faction of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the state, and called on security agencies and the general public to condemn and fish out perpetrators of the break down of law and order.
She said: “It is no longer news that thugs believed to be working for factional APC governorship candidate, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq last Sunday, 13 January, stormed Agbaji, the hometown of our national leader and Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, where they attacked innocent people.
“The death-dealing thugs who were reportedly led by two members of the APC, Yahaya Gambari Seriki and Comrade Musbau Esinrogunjo opened fire on residents of the peaceful community and injured no fewer than 11 people in the process, who are mostly members and supporters of our party. They vandalized over 50 vehicles parked at different locations within Agbaji and also carted away property including motorcycles belonging to residents of the area.
“This attack came few days after the Senate President raised an alarm of planned attacks on his family members and supporters, and barely four days after a similar attack on PDP members in some parts of Ilorin. Some of those injured are still receiving treatment at the different hospitals in town.
“What is disheartening is the fact that some security officials in uniform were said to have provided cover for the hoodlums who unleashed terror on our members and supporters at Agbaji. It is also unfortunate that the Federal Government and the APC would resort to using state institutions to harass and intimidate opposition figures and their supporters. This is barbaric, illegal and undemocratic, and it must stop.
“We condemn these repeated attacks on our party members and supporters, and call on security agencies not to be partisan and be alive to their responsibilities by fishing out perpetrators of these attacks and prosecute them accordingly to serve as deterrent to others who may be planning to carry out more attacks. Appropriate sanctions must be dished out to individuals who break our laws and endanger our collective peace.
“The APC leaders in the State must warn their thugs and other undesirable elements within their party whose activities threaten the collective peace of our dear State. The use of thugs for electoral process must be discouraged and not allow to thrive as we would not allow any act that can truncate the peace and harmony we enjoy in Kwara.
“Kwara has always been a peaceful State, and we will not allow any politician or group people to endanger the peace and stability of our dear State.
“We, therefore commend Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed for swiftly setting up a Joint Security Task Force headed by the Nigerian Army to check political violence before, during and after the general elections in the state. We must do everything possible to prevent violence and unnecessary loss of lives as we prepare for the elections.
“The APC have resorted to propaganda and violence having realized that they have been rejected by Kwarans. The PDP is on ground in Kwara and we enjoy the massive support of the people of the State. Kwarans have always demonstrated their love for our leader, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, and we will always stand by him and his party.
“The PDP will, therefore, not engage in violence or any untoward act to win elections. The focus of our campaigns is the people and this is why we have been going round the State to engage them and ask for their support, and we are confident of victory at the polls.
“Those who intend to govern a State must campaign on issues, not by threatening and attacking people who do not share the same ideology with you. The APC should understand this and stop engaging in violence.
“We urge President Muhammadu Buhari, as the father of the nation to look beyond party affiliation, and partisanship and direct the security agencies to apprehend and prosecute all those who have been disturbing the peace of Kwara State and their sponsors. The president should use his visit to Ilorin not only to campaign but to ask his party men to end all their criminalities in the name of politics.
“The Kwara PDP remains committed to the conduct of a peaceful election.”