As preparations get heightened up by different political parties in Oyo state ahead of the March 11 governorship and House of Assembly elections, the ruling state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused its All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart of using Islamic religion to politically blackmail incumbent governor, Seyi Makinde.
PDP in Oyo state also alleged the APC and its governorship candidate in the coming Saturday’s election, Oloye Teslim Kolawole Folarin of sponsoring masqueraded APC agents disguised as PDP members in public places in a wicked campaign of calumny against Governor Seyi Makinde, describing it as the height of political crudity.
Akeem Olatunji, the Publicity Secretary of PDP in Oyo state, who disclosed this in a press statement on Sunday, on behalf of the ruling party said the recent political development emanating from Folarin’s APC has raised serious apprehension about his level of desperation to become governor at possible cost.
Olatunji, who had earlier raised the alarm over the sustained attacks on the person of Governor Seyi Makinde by the Oyo state chapter of APC appealed to the Commissioner of Police, CP Adebowale Williams to prevail on Folarin to abide by the peace accord he signed as well as the electoral guidelines for political parties in order not to plunger Oyo state into a theatre of war on election day.
The PDP Spokesman, while boasting of landslide victory for Makinde come March 11 reminded Oyo APC and Folarin that the ultimate power to choose who the next Oyo governor lies with the people who are the electorates adding that instead of Oyo APC to busy itself selling its candidate to the people, the party is busy sponsoring political blackmail against Governor Makinde using Islam as a tool.
Olatunji equally reminded Folarin and Oyo APC that hard facts remain in public domain that Governor Seyi Makinde who is a Christian has benefitted the Islamic community in Oyo state stressing that the opposition party is already condemned to contend with the people of Oyo state who have graciously adopted Makinde as their own political project ahead of March 11.
Furthermore, Olatunji stressed that the ruling party has since uncovered a grand blackmail agenda by Oyo APC against Makinde by sponsoring divisive elements with little or no knowledge of Islam as a religion of love and peace to spread falsehood against Makinde in various mosques during prayer sessions urging the people of the state to become wary of APC’s new devilish antics.
“Ordinarily, we would have continued to ignore this and remain focused on our grassroots mobilization and house to house campaign for Governor Makinde’s reelection but calls and messages from lovers of good governance within and outside the shores of Oyo state mandated it upon us to address this salient and very exigent issue of political blackmail by Oyo APC and its governorship candidate, Senator Teslim Folarin.
“It is very important to remind the good people of Oyo state that even as the ruling party, we did our bit by encouraging Oyo APC and Folarin to embark on their political campaign when the window was very much opened in order to tell the world what they have to offer. It is also very germaine to state that they failed to campaign neither did they make themselves available at different political fora where governorship candidates were invited for engagements without any cogent reason.
“At some point, both our party, the PDP and Governor Seyi Makinde particularly spoke out publicly urging Folarin and Oyo APC to join the political campaign in order to present their manifestoes to the people but all these fell into deaf ears. Little did we know that their grand plan was to deploy different blackmails as political tools in order to sway unsuspecting members of the public on ground of religious inclination.
“It is a public knowledge the size of Oyo state cabinet under the leadership of Governor Makinde and its composition with regards to collective inclusivity and religious balance. It is also a public knowledge how governor Makinde, a Christian, has totally committed himself to the overall welfare and wellbeing of all especially the Muslim community in the state.
“Governor Makinde has singlehandedly sponsored the reconstruction of Adogba Central Mosque, construction of Omituntun Mosque, renovation of Oja ‘ba Central Mosque and many others and has provided brand new buses to Islamic Scholars and clerics for adequate propagation of Islam across the length and breath of Oyo state while also improving on their welfare and inclusive participation in state functions without any form of prejudice.
“It is however, disheartening, sad, and unfortunate that at this age and time in the 21st century, an unpopular politician and candidate as Senator Teslim Folarin and his already rejected APC in Oyo state would rely on cheap political blackmail using Islamic religion as a tool to advance their devilish course.
“Ibadan and by extension Oyo state at large is like a community of interwoven Christian-muslim family where religious harmony has become one of our greatest Hallmark since time immemorial. We’re particularly saddened as a party that the recent political blackmail going rounds across some mosques and religious gatherings in the state against Governor Makinde being a Christian and the purported need for Muslims to cast their votes on account of religious inclination is the worst in our collective political history and must not be allowed to stand by all.
“We appeal to our people especially the Islamic community in the state to look critically into how far Governor Makinde has brought the state out of servitude and slavery which the APC plunged the state into for eight uninterrupted years. Our people must also look beyond parochial sentiments such as religion and see the competence, leadership, capacity, and political will to deliver on election promises because we can not for any reason take such a very costly chance of trusting a murder suspect with our collective destiny in Oyo state.” Olatunji stated.