A socio-cultural organization, Oyo Patriotic Front, has warned the Accord Party’s governorship candidate in Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja and members of his party against disrupting the peace which the people of the state have been enjoying in the last three and a half years.
The organization, in a statement issued in Ibadan on Wednesday by its Chairman, Chief Jare Adepoju, noted that the crisis which trailed the selection of candidates for next month’s elections in Accord Party and which had pitted Ladoja against his party members had been threatening the existing peace in the state.
Following the ex-governor’s alleged imposition of candidates for the forthcoming elections, the aggrieved aspirants and their supporters have on several occasions swooped on the Bodija, Ibadan residence of Ladoja, hurling stones, sticks and other dangerous weapons.
The situation had forced security agencies to cordon off the former governor’s house while armoured personnel carriers were stationed close to the building to forestall a total breakdown of law and order.
While the situation had forced some aggrieved party stalwarts to defect to other political parties, others who remain with the party have vowed to slug it out with the Accord Party leader, with further threats to make him pay for his alleged `sins’.
However, the association noted with dissatisfaction the brewing crisis, which it said was capable of jeopardizing the peace and tranquility in the state, especially as the general elections are fast approaching, if not nipped in the bud.
It accused Ladoja of running Accord Party as a sole proprietor by financially exploiting members, adding that his failure to allow internal democracy within the party had marked him (Ladoja) out as a person with dictatorial tendencies.
The organization also called on Ladoja to clear the air on the allegations that he failed to remit all the nomination fees collected from aspirants to the party’s national headquarters, saying that his continued silence on the allegations did not portray him as having clean hands in the alleged deal.
“Anybody aspiring for any political office, especially the exalted office of the governor of a state should not be only clean but should be seen as clean and virtually without any blemish. A situation where such a person is fingered in financial misappropriation and he fails to clear his name is nothing but an admittance of the allegation,’’ it said.
The association called on politicians and political office seekers in the state to play the game according to the rules and to instill in their supporters the need to eschew violence before, during and after the elections.
“If nothing, the peace and tranquility the people of Oyo State have been enjoying in the last three and a half years is enough for them and they will stop at nothing to ensure that the peace is sustained. No agent of violence should be allowed to take over the state again and truncate the prevailing peace,” it said.