A group within Oyo state chapter of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Concerned People Frontiers (CPF) has alleged that the Deputy National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja invaded the venue of the primaries of both House of Assembly, Ibadan South East both constituencies I and II, as well that of Federal House of Representatives with armed thugs and security personnel harrasing, intimidating and forcing aspirants and some delegates out of the venue.
The group noted that there was no primaries as the aspirants and some delegates were allegedly forced out of the venue by the armed thugs and security personnel on the order of Arapaja, who threatened to shoot them if they refuse to leave the venue.
It was alleged that Arapaja armed with thugs, Police and Soldiers were moving round the venues, Saint John Primary School, Alake, Academy for constituency II, Mapo Hall for constituency I and Goodwill Hall, Adekile Orita Aperin, Ibadan for House of Representatives chasing away other aspirants and some delegates to pave way for his unpopular aspirants, hence deny them their civic responsibilities.
The group in a statement on Monday signed by its Coordinator and Secretary, Adewale Ajani and Kunle Fasasi respectively alleged that Arapaja used security agents and thugs to force all his perceived opposition including aspirants and some delegates out, noted that aspirants were beaten at Mapo, venue for Ibadan South East constituency I primary
While promising to challenge the outcome of the supposed primary election, CFP insisted that no primary election was held in the Ibadan South East/North East federal constituency and State of Assemblies I and II on Sunday.
It could be recalled there had been series of internal crises in the last few weeks over who will represent the constituencies ahead of 2023 as a result of planned imposition of incumbent through consensus, which was rebuffed by other aspirants.
The failure of the aspirants to agree on a consensus made the party to organise the supposed primary election on Sunday, which was alleged to have been invaded by Arapaja with armed thugs and security personnel that supposed to provide safety at the primary.
According to the statement, “The Deputy National Chairman of our party, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja invaded the venue of the primaries with armed thugs, Police and Soldiers harrasing, intimidating and threatening us with guns ordering us to leave the venue of the primary or we should be shot.
“We are going to challenge what happened legally because there was no primary, some delegates and aspirants were prevented from exercise their electoral franchise. What transpired at the venue of the primary showed that PDP government in Oyo state is not about people but about cabal, who can do anything to achieve their clandestine motive.
“Imagine someone of Arapaja’s calibre, a National officer for that matter, threatening his members with gun, this was show of charade, and against the tenet of democratic process.
“We want to bring this to the notice of party National headquarters what happened in Oyo state, and if this show of shame is not corrected, we have no option that to seek redress legally.
“We want to use this opportunity to also advise the party leadership at national, that in case there will be another primaries, apart from INEC officials, aspirants and delegates, no other party leadership in the state should be allowed into the venue to guide against further occurrence of oppression for people like Arapaja, a national officer for that matter.
“There was no primaries in Ibadan South East State Assemblies and Ibadan North East/South East Federal Constituency. Although they might come up with a winner but it was glaring there was no primaries as confirmed by INEC officials in an interview at the venue. The atmosphere was not conducive and it was really discouraging and sad. This is not democracy”.
However, when contacted, the media aide to Ambassador Arapaja, Mr Ibrahim Bamitale said the allegation is a lie adding that Arapaja only attended the primaries as a stakeholder.