A chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State, Comrade Bola Ilori, has attributed incessant attacks on his party by thugs suspected to be working for the ruling Labour Party (LP), to Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s fear of failure in the October 20 gubernatorial election.
Ilori said Mimiko’s verbal and physical attacks on the ACN and its members have indicated that all is not well with the LP governor, with the presence of the ACN in the politics of the state. He stated that Mimiko could not bear the strong presence of the ACN in the state having betrayed the leadership of the party and thus he and his supporters have resorted to violence to intimidate members of his party .
The ACN chieftain, who is the Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Environment and Sanitation, maintained that the peaceful political atmosphere of Ondo State has been shattered by Mimiko and the Labour Party’s intolerance of the CAN. “Few months ago, some armed political thugs, who were allegedly sponsored by Mimiko disrupted the memorial lecture organized by the ACN and Afenifere group for the former governor of the state, Chief Adebayo Adefarati. In Ondo, Mimiko’s home town, elders of the ACN were attacked by thugs suspected to have been sponsored by the LP. The recent attack on our party was the attack on our governorship candidate’s convoy in Akure. A member of our party, Sunday Idogho was attacked by thugs, who claimed to be members of Mimiko’s Orange Group (LP) at Benin Motor Park along Akure-Benin expressway in Akure last Saturday. It is crystal clear that Mimiko introduced violence into the state politics and he needs to be condemned by all and sundry. It is an act of weakness, intolerance, fear and uncertainty that makes a sitting governor to resort to violence with a view to intimidating opposition parties”.
Ilori alleged that the plan of the governor was to destabilize and create unnecessary tension in the state ahead of the election, with a view to rigging himself in for the second term. He stressed that it is unbecoming of a governor and a ruling party, to wage war against the people of the state, especially opposing parties, saying that anywhere political thugs strike; it always creates panic and distress for innocent people in the area.
The two term Chairman of Alimosho Local Government Council Area of Lagos State, however, urged the people of the state to remain peaceful and law abiding, expressing his optimism that the ACN would win the forthcoming governorship election.