Lagos - The All Progressives Congress (APC) alleged the federal government planned to arrest its leaders and intimidate its supporters ahead of Saturday governorship poll in Osun State.
In a statement its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, issued in Osogbo, the party claimed the arrests, which were earlier scheduled to start on Thursday, followed the "runaway success" of the APC's rally held in the city on Tuesday.
"The mammoth crowd that turned out for the rally so destabilized the People's Democratic Party and the FG that they have now decided to fast track the arrest of our leaders in all the local government areas of the state," read a statement.
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"Already, a special team from Abuja has arrived in Osogbo solely for this purpose, while at least one of our leaders, Hon Oke, has been arrested," the party said.
It said the arrest and intimidation of opposition members put a "question mark" on President Goodluck Jonathan's assurance to the international community that the Osun election will be free and fair.
"The arrest and intimidation of the opposition ahead of voting constitute rigging. Therefore, by engaging in the mass arrest of our leaders in Osun, by deploying highly-partisan security agencies to the state, the FG has already kick-started the process of rigging Saturday's election."
It therefore alerted election observers, the international community and Nigerians to be aware of the alleged violations.
"We urge all men and women of conscience to prevail on those who are bent on formenting anarchy in Osun State to give peace a chance. We ask for nothing more than a level playing field for all candidates in the election. We want the election to be a celebration of democracy rather than a trigger for chaos, " APC said.
PDP had not commented on the allegations at the time of going to press.
Allegations of intimidation, vote rigging and fears of a lack of capacity by the electoral body have characterised preparations for the poll
- CAJ News