The All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised the alarm that the
PDP-led federal government has started terrorizing and intimidating
the peaceful people of Osun State, with a view to cowing them ahead of
the Aug. 9th governorship election in the state.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Friday by its National Publicity
Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party wondered why the FG will
send agents of the Department of State Services (DSS), some of them
masked and clad in black, to the state to harass innocent citizens in
an unprovoked and primitive show of power that can only be described
as sheer gangsterism.
”As widely reported, DSS agents, armed to the teeth and riding in
over 50 trucks, drove around Osogbo and other parts of Osun State on
Wednesday blaring siren and shooting sporadically in the air, thus
disrupting the normally peaceful life in the state.
”Residents who were visibly traumatized by the shameful display of
state power ran helter-skelter and wondered why their government has
sent masked men, or ninjas, to terrorize them. They now understand
that the masked thugs who have been following the PDP candidate around
on his campaign trail were actually government sanctioned. This is a
power show taken too far, even with the well-known impunity tendencies
of the Jonathan Administration,” it said.
APC said information at its disposal shows that 5,000 more DSS men are
being dispatched to the state before the election, on the basis of an
orchestrated petition alleging that certain APC leaders are planning
to foment trouble during the election.
”The real purpose of this fake petition and the consequent deployment
of thousands of secret police to Osun is to harass, intimidate and
arrest the leaders of the APC in the state, in a repeat of what
transpired in Ekiti.
”Flooding Osun with irresponsible DSS officials to terrorize the
residents is another low for a government that is notorious for abuse
of power and federal institutions. It is no longer news that the
military, the police and other security agencies are working for the
Jonathan Administration, rather than for all of Nigeria. What is new
is that the security agencies have now been unleashed on the
”What rankles even more is the constant assurances by President
Jonathan that the election will be free and fair. How can we have a
credible election in an atmosphere of state-led gangsterism? How can
we have a credible election when the FG that is supposed to protect
the people and ensure violence-free polls is the same one that purveys
violence? Where else in the world do secret police announce themselves
by firing to scare away harmless citizens? When did masks become part
of the uniform of the State Security Service agents?” the party
It reminded the DSS officials that the guns they were using to
terrorize the people of Osun were given to them by taxpayers, and that
they were indeed trained at the expense of taxpayers, hence it is
totally irresponsible and unacceptable for them to turn their guns on
APC called on local and international election observers to take note
of the pre-election intimidation tactics of the PDP/Jonathan
Administration, which are designed solely to scare people away from
the polling booths and provide the necessary atmosphere for electoral
malfeasance, which the PDP candidate believes is the only way he can
win on Aug. 9th.
The party said it would not accept the same hear-no-evil, see-no-evil
disposition of President Jonathan, who on one hand will be assuring
the international community of credible polls under his watch while at
the same time looking the other way as his cabinet ministers, other
appointees and the security agencies under his control break the law
with impunity and become agents of terror.
”Mr. President, you are responsible for the actions of the men and
women you appoint into your cabinet. You are the Commander-in-Chief of
the armed forces. You bear the ultimate responsibility for the acts of
omission or commission of this category of public officials, as well
as the security agencies. You must call them to order if indeed they
are not acting under your orders,” it said.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
National Publicity Secretary