Since the declaration of the November 16 governorship elections results in Bayelsa and Kogi states respectively in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has repeatedly disparaged the outcome. Bayo Agboola writes.
Expectedly, there were mixed reactions to the outcome of the two governorship elections held in Bayelsa and Kogi states respectively. Even before the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) declared the results two major opposition parties in the states had disparaged it saying it did not reflect the wishes of the electorate in the respective states.
In particular, the PDP and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the latter especially in the Kogi election, said the exercise was marred by intimidation by security operatives-mainly the army, ballot box snatching, killings and manipulation of the results. The parties also accused the APC-led federal government of deploying soldiers to deny the electorate the opportunity to freely exercise their franchise.
Perhaps, the comments of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) that it had prior knowledge that some fake uniformed personnel would be on parade tended to give credibility to claims that innocent voters were harassed and intimidated and even prevented from going to cast their votes.
In contrast, the APC has roundly applauded the electorate in both states for rejecting the PDP. It thumbed up for the INEC for conducting an excellent election and exonerated the Army and other security operatives on duty for preventing the PDP from carrying out its alleged evil intent of denying the people their electoral choice.
Oyo APC mocks PDP
The Oyo state chapter of the APC joined the chorus of its national leadership by the mocking the role played in Kogi state by Governor Seyi Makinde, who was the chairman of the PDP Kogi state Governorship Campaign Council. It accused the governor of leading a failed exercise, alleged that it abandoned governance in Oyo state to embark on a venture that it said was doomed to fail from the onset. It even alleged that the governor left the streets of Oyo state untidy and has been unmindful of the plight of workers in the state by refusing to pay them the new minimum wage.
Oyo PDP fires back
The Oyo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), swiftly responded by berating the state’s chapter of the APC for celebrating the polluted electoral process, which it claimed took place during the Kogi State governorship election held on November 16.
The Oyo PDP, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Engineer Akeem Olatunji, said that “only politicians with killer instincts, propensity for vote stealing and electoral corruption would celebrate the rape of democracy witnessed in Kogi last weekend.”
The PDP spokesman commended the role played in Kogi State by the governor of Oyo state, Engineer Seyi Makinde, declaring that he discharged his responsibilities creditably and honourably.
The PDP dismissed the APC’s statement describing it as “a show of buffoonery and the height of insensitivity to the families of ten persons who were felled by the bullets of sponsored marauders, who denied the PDP of its victory.”
According to the statement, the claim by the APC that Governor Makinde abandoned his duty post to relocate to Kogi state was untrue, baseless and an indication that the Oyo state APC has become frustrated with itself, being the bad loser that it has proven to be.
Why Oyo APC is angry- PDP
“Since it was thoroughly defeated by Engineer Seyi Makinde at the March 9 governorship election in Oyo state, the APC in the state has become an object of pity that has been clawing at one form of hallucination after the other,” the PDP said.
The party added: “For want of what to say, the APC criticised Governor Makinde for allegedly abandoning his duty post, failing to keep major cities clean and equally failing, according to it, to pay the new N30,000 minimum wage.
“All these are at best phantom allegations, tissues of lies, opportunistic comments and a display of arrant ignorance.
“The APC is busy misinforming the public about the minimum wage when it is clear to the workers that the parameters for payment of the new minimum wage were just released by the federal government on the day it made the statement. How do they expect the governor to pay wages that the parameters were not clarified by the federal authorities?
“Besides, the APC, which ran a government that was unable to pay the national minimum wage of N18,000 for eight years previously should be ashamed of dabbling in such a discussion at this stage.
PDP clearing APC’s rot
“It is on record that Governor Seyi Makinde has been doing its best to succeed in the task of keeping Ibadan and the major cities clean, though the challenges being faced in the sector right now are due to the booby traps set by the APC government, which never wished the PDP and the people well.”
The statement further stated: “Makinde, who the people know as a governor with a difference, will never abandon his duty post without doing the right thing. He has been working round the clock to keep Oyo state clean despite concerted efforts by APC loyalists to sabotage the government.”
The PDP maintained that the description of Governor Makinde as an ‘unofficial caretaker governor with a fake mandate’ demonstrated the height of irresponsibility and crass ignorance of APC leaders.
“Let it be stated clearly that the machinations of the APC to benefit where they did not sow will not materialise in Oyo state. The people of Oyo state voted massively to reject the APC and bring in Governor Makinde. The people are resolved to defend that mandate by all means necessary.
“Let us also say that the victory of Engineer Makinde in a free and fair election has been affirmed by the Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.”
Why we responded – PDP
The PDP said it opted to respond to the reckless statement because “the APC deployed it best weapons of lies, misinformation and gutter languages to attack Governor Seyi Makinde as the chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council for the Kogi State Governorship election was irresponsible and reckless.
“We unequivocally condemn the content of the statement as the height of buffoonery and crass disregard for the laws of the land, as no sane Nigeria would seek to claim the seat of a state governor on the pages of newspapers as Oyo APC tries to do.
“But for the need to set records straight, we would have ignored the bunkum and a not-well-thought-out statement from a party that is sinking and looking for anything to hold to halt its downward slide. While the saying goes that silence is the best answer for a fool, the Oyo state public should note that this response becomes necessary in other not to suffer fools gladly.”