Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Thursday warned his rivals in the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to stay away from the Local Government election scheduled to hold across the state on Saturday,
The group, otherwise known as Unity Forum was also warmed against alleged attempt to disrupt the party’s Local Government Congress holding across the country same day.
The governor’s warning was contained in a statement issued by his Executive Assistant (Political), Dr. Morohunkola Thomas, in Ibadan on Thursday.
Thomas said the state government had uncovered a plan by the disgruntled APC members to cause mayhem in the state on the said date, warning that security agencies in the state have been placed on red alert to deal decisively with any group or individual fomenting trouble during the exercises.
Since the party held its ward congress last week, the factions in the state have been tackling each other in the bid to have their loyalists at the helm.
Below is the statement from the state government:
“The Oyo State Government has warned groups and individuals against activities capable of disrupting Saturday’s local government election and party congresses, saying that security operatives have been put on red alert to ensure peaceful conduct of both exercises.
“A statement by the Executive Assistant, Political to the Governor, Dr. Morohunkola Thomas, on Thursday, said that the warning became necessary following the fresh plans by dissident groups and their sympathisers within the All progressives Congress to cause mayhem on Saturday.
“Following the scuttling of the initial plans of the group to burn down the state secretariat of the APC, he said that intelligence revealed that they are restrategising to disrupt the peace of the land and render the LG election and congresses inconclusive.
” The government said that necessary security arrangements have been put in place to protect lives and property and to ensure that residents exercise their franchise without let or hindrance.
“According to him, latest intelligence has revealed that the members of the Unity Forum are planning to use their thugs to unleash terror on innocent electorate and loyal members of the APC.
“He said that the government appealed to all citizens, including the self-styled Unity Forum to embrace peace and allow the elections to hold in a peaceful atmosphere in the overall interest of the state and sanctity of democracy.
“The government has put security operatives on red alert to ensure the safety of election officials and voters. It has therefore become necessary to warn groups and individuals bent on fomenting trouble on Saturday to have a rethink.
“The law of the land is no respecter of anybody, no matter his or her position in the society. As leaders in their own right, those crying blue murder should rise above pettiness and join hands with the government and our great party.
“The government is using this opportunity to caution all political parties, including APC and their followers against any act of violence before, during and after the local government election and party congresses. The full weight of the law will be visited on troublemakers without discrimination.
“The government wishes to tell the public that an earlier interim injunction stopping the LG election had been vacated by a Federal High Court, Ibadan, thus clearing obstacles before the conduct of the election.”