Ondo - The All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged plans by the Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, to disrupt Saturday’s Governorship and State House of Assembly elections in the state by instigating widespread violence.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the governor had already met with the thugs, who have been trained specifically for the purpose of disrupting the elections, at Oshodi-Isolo in and Iro in Akure South Local Government Area.
It is alleged each location has received N350 million.
“The strategy is to deploy these thugs to various parts of the South-West with the express instruction to violently disrupt elections through sporadic shootings and stealing of ballot boxes.
"This is the Governor’s answer to the massive shellacking he received from the electorate in the region in general and in Ondo state in particular during the March 28th presidential elections,” said Mohammed.
He said the alleged thugs had already sent many APC leaders, who have been targeted for attack, fleeing for safety. While some have gone underground, others have relocated either from Ondo State or from the region entirely, APC reported.
“There is also the report circulating in Ondo State in particular that the Governor has deployed thugs to every polling unit to cut off the hands of anyone who is suspected to have voted for the APC during the elections.
"These developments do not augur well for free, fair and peaceful elections, hence the need for security agents to face the challenge posed by the hired thugs squarely,” Mohammed said.
He added the thugs had already started unleashing violence, killing one person at a rally in Igbara-Oke in Ifedore local government area of the state on Wednesday.
Also read: Political thugs attack APC supporters in Ondo
“Since his embarrassing loss at the March 28 elections, Governor Mimiko has almost become maniacal, hence his resort to the training and arming of thugs, many of whom will don fake police and army uniforms to disrupt Saturday’s elections throughout the South-West and especially in Ondo State,” alleged Mohammed.
“It is important to alert the sponsors of terror and electoral malfeasance that whether or not they have immunity from prosecution, ultimately they will be made to face the full wrath of the law to account for their unbridled penchant for violence.”
He called on all APC members and supporters to be vigilant and to make sure they document all cases of brigandage and rigging across the region.
The party also alert local and international observers to pay a close attention to the conduct of the elections in the region, as well as in other flash points like Rivers State on Saturday.
Comment could not be obtained from the Ondo State Government.