IBADAN—LEADERS of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the South-West zone yesterday converged in Ibadan, alleging that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had brought more economic woes and frustrated genuine attempts by the progressive forces to bring hope to Nigerians.
They said this at the first APC South West Assembly, with prominent chieftains of the party including governors of Oyo and Osun states, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the National Vice-Chairman (South-West), Pius Akinyelure in attendance. This came as Governor Aregbesola warned that PDP was desperate to take all the states in the South West presently governed by the APC.
Aregbesola said, “PDP is determined to take our states from us. They are ruthless opposition that will do anything to deny our people of their democratic choices. If we understand this early enough, we will see the need to stop them on their track. But, if we underrate them, we will record loss.
Speaking on his victory at the polls, he said, “The actual winners, those who defeated the opposition in Osun, were the ordinary men and women, particularly women who refused to be intimidated.
They came out even in their most dreadful form. For the first time, security operatives put on masks in broad daylight in their thousands, shooting. But women came out to perform their duty. They sang against them and sent signals to them that they would not tolerate terror.
“Quickly following the women in the determination to exercise their rights were school children who always sang that people should vote for Aregbesola. It was unbelievable. They deflated the ego of the people that wanted to dominate and terrorise us. Yes, our men worked but the determination of our women and the children including artisans, drivers were high and politicians must acknowledge them. We must let people know that this is what they must do. They must refuse to be cowed, that they should vote and defend their votes. They deserve accolades for the victory of our party in the State of Osun. I will never forget them. Women that one would think wrongly are the least in a struggle like this.”
However, South West APC leaders speaking through the National Vice-Chairman (South-West), Pius Oluwole Akinyelure, said, “we cannot deceive ourselves about the economic and political woes of the ruling PDP that dim the stars of yesteryears, becloud the rainbows of today and diminish the hidden potentials of our great nation. I doubt if Nigeria has ever been faced with such a perilous future in the annals of our history as much as currently witnessed and experienced today.
“On the economic front, Nigeria has been dragged into the red light district of global affairs. On the political front, there are fears about the future considering the odious attempt to eliminate the basic principles of democracy and the lowest common factor of representative government.”
Akinyelure alleged that the PDP was promoting a retinue of rogue regimes that negated the fundamentals of the egalitarian political heritage of the South West democratic space.
“In Ekiti for instance, we witnessed the monetisation of votes and the blatant institutionalisation of violence-using state machinery. We are aware of the flagrant cases of human right violations perpetrated by some of the nation’s security apparatus. This is different from the several masked gun men that stormed the State of Osun before and on 9th of August. I must say without any contradiction that the APC leaders in Ekiti and the State of Osun fought a gracious fight. They fought a battle nurtured by ideas and ideology”, he said.