Soldiers, Police, DSS Deployed As Osun APC Holds Guber Primaries Today

Security personnel comprising soldiers, policemen and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) yesterday stormed the roads of Osogbo in a show of force ahead of today’s governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State.


Another team of armed security personnel took up positions in and around the state secretariat of the party. They had on standby an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC).


Locked in the race for the APC ticket are the incumbent governor, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola; a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Moshood Adeoti and a former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Lasun Yusuf.


As security was being beefed up across the state, the Olowu of Kuta, Oba Adekunle Makama, raised the alarm about the infiltration of his community by non-state actors who, according to him, were stockpiling arms and ammunition at the behest of some politicians.


Osogbo, the state capital in particular has recorded some shootings and intimidation of residents by suspected thugs in the last few days, raising tension ahead of the primaries.

The situation is not helped by the war of words between supporters of the governor and those of Adeoti who is being backed by Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola.

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The armed security personnel were sighted in operational vehicles at about 8pm yesterday patrolling the streets of Osogbo ostensibly to warn trouble makers to keep the peace.


Spokesperson of the State Police Command, Yemisi Opalola, said the police were fully ready to ensure there would be no security breach today.


She said: “Preparation for the APC primary election is intact. We have more men now. I won’t say the actual number of those deployed. By God’s grace, we have mounted checks in all the boundaries to the state. We are ready for the task.”

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the state said in a separate statement by its spokesperson, Olabisi Atanda, that the Commandant, Emmanuel Ocheja, had ordered a full-scale covert operation to check any act of criminality by hoodlums, thugs and miscreants.


She said this followed “insinuations and allegations in some quarters that some nefarious elements have stockpiled the uniforms of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Nigeria Correctional Service with the intent of distributing them to non-state actors for use during the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship primary elections.”


• APC panel meets aspirants

The APC Primary Electoral Committee led by Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman Abdulrasaq yesterday met with the three governorship aspirants at the party’s secretariat on Gbogan Road, Osogbo, pledging to provide a level playing ground for all the contestants.


“This committee is promising you that the process will be a free, fair, credible and acceptable poll,” Abdulrasak said.

He added: “Since yesterday, we have communicated necessary information to all the aspirants and that was done through SMS, WhatsApp and other means, and all the aspirants have shown willingness to come and they were informed to come with 10 supporters and their agents in the 332 Wards.


“We came here in peace. Our party is peaceful and we are going to do everything to ensure that peace is maintained throughout the entire process. Fairness, equity, justice, credibility and peace are our watchwords.


“I want you all to come out peacefully and in large numbers to vote for your preferred aspirant. What we are looking for is peace and I can assure you that we will leave no stone unturned to ensure a peaceful, free and fair exercise.


“To us as a committee, peace, love, unity and oneness are our watchwords. Let’s be our brother’s keepers. What we should be celebrating are peace, love and oneness, and as we are moving into the field, we should go in peace. We are here to do justice to all aspirants.”


Secretary of the committee, Senator Julius Ucha, said direct primary would be adopted today.


Speaking on the modalities, he said: “Accreditation will commence by 8 am and end at noon, while voting will start at noon and end at 2 pm or two hours after the end of accreditation.


“The primary will be through Option A4 also known as direct primary, where members will be expected to queue behind their choice aspirant or his posters.”


Responding, Adeoti asked for a copy of party members register to be used for the primary election and a copy of the guidelines for the exercise.


He was then given a copy which he certified.


The leader of the pro-Aregbesola group – The Osun Progressives (TOP) – Lowo Adebiyi, alleged that the returning officers for the exercise were political appointees of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.


The Primary Electoral Committee, Senator Ucha, said the claim was untrue as the returning officers were appointed by the national secretariat of the APC.


Lasun Yusuf said: “I have no comment.”


Governor Oyetola pleaded with his co-aspirants and party members to see the contest as a family affair to deepen democracy.


Oyetola said adequate security had been put in place to ensure that the exercise was hitch-free and produce the candidate of the majority members of the party.


Adeoti and Yusuf accepted Prince Gboyega Famodun as the APC chairman in the state.

They had hitherto refused to recognise him and the results of the congresses at every level.


Also at yesterday’s meeting were other members of the panel: Senator Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe, Abdulkarim Abdulraman, Wale Raji, Mrs Yetunde Imolehin and Ofonmbuk Okon Bassy.


• Adeoti kicks over appointment of Kwara Gov as panel chair

Earlier yesterday, Adeoti protested the appointment of Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasak as chairman of the Osun APC Primary Electoral Committee.


The former SSG also alleged that the primary had been skewed in favour of Governor Oyetola.


The governor, he said, “has influenced the committee led by Governor of Kwara State, Abdulrazak Abdulramon because of his membership of National Caretaker and Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party.”


Adeoti claimed that the primary election was originally slated for March 5 but was brought forward to favour Oyetola.


However, he said, “despite the anomalies, I and my supporters are going to participate in the primary election tomorrow. We are not going to boycott. I want to urge all APC members to go to their collation centres in their various wards to vote for me.


Similarly, a member of TOP, Hon. Rasaq Salinsile, accused Governor Oyetola of importing thugs into the state for the primary.


Politicians are stockpiling arms, says Olowu

Following the violence in his domain, the Olowu of Kuta, Osun State, Oba Adekunle Makama, has alleged the infiltration of the state by non-state actors stockpiling arms and ammunition at the behest of some politicians.


The traditional ruler in a statement yesterday said he was disturbed by the activities of such people who want to perpetrate violence.


“The member representing Ayedire federal constituency in the House of Representatives and party executives in the local government were having a sensitization programme when some hoodlums, wielding dangerous weapons, started shooting sporadically into the defenceless people without any provocation,” he said.


• Don’t mind naysayers, you have been chosen to rule Osun for second term – Ataoja, Olobu tell Oyetola

The Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipekun, and the Olobu of Ilobu, Oba Ashiru Olatoye Olaniyan, have reiterated their support for Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, saying they are resolute to work for his success in the forthcoming governorship election.


The monarchs showered encomiums and prayers on the Governor for his modest achievements in the last three years, just as they assured him of their royal backing before, during and after the July 16 governorship election in the state.

They spoke when the governor visited their domains during the last leg of his engagement tour of the nine federal constituencies on Thursday night.


Receiving the Governor in his palace, the Ataoja described him as a promise keeper.


The revered traditional ruler said the Governor has performed excellently well and the time has come for the people of Osogbo and the entire state to reciprocate the good gesture.


“You are doing well for all the four towns in Osogbo Traditional Council. I have been sent to commend you for all you have been doing to transform the state and give Osun a new development facelift,” he said.


“You have been doing well. You were part of the previous administration where Osogbo was progressing. Our thought was that it would end there when the former administration came to an end. But when you came on board, the progress was marvelous.


“For whatever reason, we will not leave you. We shall continue to be with you.


“We know you are not a noise maker but a great doer, a performer and a reformer whose passion for the people’s welfare is second to none. You have indeed written your name in the sands of time and your imprints will continue to live forever after your eight years in office.


In the same vein, Olobu of Ilobu, Oba Ashiru Olatoye Olaniyan, described the achievements of Oyetola as unprecedented in the history of the state.


Oba Olaniyan, who implored the governor to remain steadfast and not be distracted, said: “We are solidly behind you and we are ready to mobilise our subjects to re-elect you.


“I greet you and welcome you warmly into Olobu’s palace. You have never disappointed me and the entire traditional rulers in the state.


“Coming to my palace is just a necessity to fulfill all righteousness. Otherwise, you know that we are for you and for your government.


“We are aware of the happenings around, particularly within the political class. But we are firm and resolute in God because we know that your ambition is God’s promise.


“I urge you to continue your good works. All that has been happening is just for you to know God the more. He knows us beyond our imagination.


“You will continue to rise. You will get there. You will win by the grace of God.”


Suspected political thugs attack Osun govt’s bus, driver injured

Some suspected political thugs last night attacked a bus owned by the Osun State Government at Owode-Ede, Osun State.

The Nation gathered that the hoodlums, on sighting the bus along Gbongan/Osogbo Road around 9 pm, decided to give it a chase.


They later caught up with the vehicle with registration number 52C-09 OS, carrying the inscription ‘Ruwesa Osun Govt’.


They shattered its windscreen and the two side mirrors. The door of the vehicle was also damaged.


An eyewitness who gave his name as Ola said: “The thugs were armed with guns, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons. They injured the driver who was all alone in the vehicle.


“They apparently thought the bus was carrying politicians.


“The driver has been taken to the hospital because he was severely injured.”

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