Armed Police operatives and their counterparts in the Department of State Security (DSS), on Monday laid siege to the Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akure, the Ondo State Capital.
Our Correspondent, who visited the Secretariat, could see the presence of the armed security operatives stationed in their vehicles outside the Secretariat.
Kennedy Peretei, the Ondo PDP Publicity Secretary, who spoke with journalists on the development said the presence of the security operatives was to prevent a planned peaceful protest by youths of the party.
According to him, the protest was for the youths to demand the whereabouts of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu after being absent from the state since April 2023.
Peretei said staff were not allowed into the secretariat.
Recall that the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) on Sunday raised the alarm over plots by the PDP and some APC chieftains to instigate a crisis in the state.
According to the APC Publicity Secretary, Alex Kalejaye, in a statement made available to journalists, the essence of the arrangement of the plots by the PDP was to create a semblance of political instability in the peaceful state, in addition to portraying the ruling party in a bad light, ahead of the governorship election, coming up next year.
The statement reads further; “It has come to our knowledge that some PDP chieftains, who have started making huge contributions, in collaboration with some players within our fold, have finalised plans to destabilize the Sunshine State.
“The chapter explained that Ondo State has thus far been peaceful, organized, and enjoyed enviable political stability, and industrial harmony.
“It is unbelievable that the main opposition party, PDP, that is engulfed by leadership turbulence in Abuja, will prefer to go into an unholy alliance with some elements in APC to foment avoidable crisis in Ondo State.
“Disturbed by the information, the State chapter, in an emergency meeting on Sunday, condemned in strong terms such thoughts and plans to instigate political upheaval and create disaffection among the people.
“Ondo APC argued that the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has been discharging his official duties and responsibilities without any hitch, irrespective of his location.
“The party also expressed appreciation for the understanding and prayers of the good people of the State for the admirable governor.
“We are very optimistic that our Governor; your performing Governor, will be in our midst in a matter of days,” the party assured.
“It is imperative to state that any political gathering or activity at this time could easily be hijacked beyond the control and capacity of the organizers.
“We therefore call on security agencies to be vigilant and ensure that every gathering is well-guided, and closely monitored for compliance.
“The party is confident that the APC-led government in Ondo State will continue to invest in projects that have direct bearings on the welfare of the public. We will also not relax our commitment to
the State workforce.”
But Peretei said; “We were really embarrassed because the security agencies were fully notified because we don’t want a situation where PDP will be responsible for a breakdown of law and order. But to our ought most shock, we saw security agencies with Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) and their vehicles with about 400 personnel armed to the teeth at the front of our secretariat. And we were asking them what they were doing here but they said they didn’t want us to enter. After some time, they allowed us access but some of our staff were asked to leave the office.
“All the youths that were supposed to participate in the peaceful protest were outside. All we’ve asked for is very simple. Where is Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu? He was elected as the Governor of Ondo State, but he failed four years and the second term is going without result.
“Even if he’s not going to do anything, let him come to Ondo State. If he’s not capable of ruling again, let him resign honourably. So, we are asking Akeredolu to resign or he resumes.”
While Akintayo Oluyi, a member of the party said, “Governor Akeredolu can no longer govern us by proxy. The youth wing of the party is giving him the next 24 hours to address the people of Ondo State and we are giving him three days ultimatum to resume back to the state.
“We’ve been seeing series of responses from the APC that the governor will join us in days time. We are giving him three days ultimatum to address us and if he fails, we as the opposition party will occupy the streets of Akure and we will continue to demand that he either resume or resign.