By Tunde Oyekola
Political activities in Osun State are fast assuming dangerous dimensions as hoodlums believed to be loyal to the two leading political parties, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state went wild during the week as they embarked on vandalization and destruction of billboards and posters of candidates on the platform of the two parties.
It was gathered that the destruction of posters and billboards started on Monday night, which was the eve of the PDP presidential campaign in the state, when the hoodlums destroyed the billboards and posters of the APC candidates in Osogbo, the state capital, while a reprisal was carried out allegedly by hoodlums belonging to the APC the following day.
It was discovered that all the billboards and posters of APC and PDP candidates in the state were destroyed by the said hoodlums who took the cover of the night to carry out their nefarious activities.
The billboards and posters of the APC candidates were discovered to have been vandalised in the wee hours of Tuesday before the arrival of President Jonathan and his team.
Though no single person has been arrested for the dastardly act, it was discovered that there was retaliation from the APC’s camp on Wednesday when it was discovered that some of the PDP’s posters and billboards mounted in strategic places have been damaged and vandalized.
A survey round Osogbo, the state capital, Ejigbo, Ilesa, Iwo, Ede, Gbongan, Ikire, Ode-Omu, Odo-Otin, Ipetu-Ijesa, Ibokun,
and Ikeji-Arakeji among others revealed that virtually all the billboards and posters have been destroyed in the towns.
Professor Sola Adeyeye, the Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial District who has secured a return ticket to the Senate on the platform of APC condemned the reprisal by his supporters who also defaced campaigns posters of PDP candidate across Osogbo, the state capital.
While reacting to the development during a chat with newsmen in Osogbo, Prof. Adeyeye described the development as “reprehensible and irrational”, saying politicking should be approached with decorum.
He, however, condemned the reprisal attacks by his supporters who also defaced campaigns posters of PDP candidate across Osogbo.
He said: “From what I heard, the opposition party in Osun State started the act. My campaign posters were defaced and billboards pulled down and torn by some unknown people believed to be supporters of the opposition candidate.
“While I abhor the act of deliberate destruction of my campaign materials, I also detest the act of reprisal by my supporters, who did same thing to his (PDP’s candidate) billboards and posters. Two wrongs can never make a write and we need to work towards a peaceful and united Osun state regardless of party affiliations.”
When contacted, PDP acting Secretary, Hon. Bola Ajao, absolved members of the party from the act, pointing accusing fingers to members of the ruling party.
He explained that members of the party had been conducting themselves in a peaceful manner, saying that the party is not known for violence.
But the Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi, said PDP should be held responsible for the vandalization and destruction of posters and billboards across the state.
Oyatomi noted that the PDP hoodlums embarked on vandalization spree unchallenged by the security agencies urging the police to caution the opposition party in the state against such act, saying that such action, if not curtailed, may threaten democracy.
He also enjoined members of the party against engaging the PDP hoodlums in any confrontation so that it would not lead to crisis and ensure that the state is violent.