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2003: AD Warns PDP On South West

By Bolade Omonijo & Sina Babasola, Vanguard, (Lagos) 14 August 2001

Ibadan'ALLIANCE for Democracy (AD), the party controlling the six South-West states, has accused the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of provoking the Yoruba people.

In a statement, AD National Director of Publicity, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, warned that there might be trouble should PDP insist on its bid to rule at all cost.

Gov. Lam Adesina of Oyo State also speaking declared that the AD was prepared to return fire for fire.

Both reacted to weekend threat by the PDP to take over the South-West states in 2003. But the governor who spoke after the parliamentary caucus meeting of the AD in the state asked President Olusegun Obasanjo to call his men to order because anybody who plays with fire in Oyo State, the fire will consume the person.

Mr. Bamidele in his statement said the AD was embarrassed and alarmed at the reprehensible conduct of the PDP leaders in the region, their unguarded utterances and sadistic behaviour which is increasingly becoming a threat to the peace and security of the region.

Continuing, he said on one hand is the false alarms raised by Commodore Olabode George (rtd.) on the intentions of our party for the next elections. On the other hand is the immature public insinuations against our party by the self-proclaimed apostle of amala politics, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu. Yet, barely three days ago, Chief Richard Akinjide added his own contribution to the mess by threatening to repeat the uncivilised NPN strategy of hate politics, thuggery, bribery and inter-tribal violence throughout the South-West.

While recalling the controversy that greeted Chief Sunday Afolabi, the Internal Affairs Minister and PDP leader in the region's statement that Chief Bola Ige, the Federal Attorney-General was invited into government to come and eat, the AD said the ground is gradually being prepared for a bloody confrontation between the masses of the region and these their long time oppressors.

On the suggestion that the AD had decided to adopt President Obasanjo for a second term, the AD said it was too early to take such a decision.

In what appeared to be an indictment of the PDP government, the AD said Mr. President ... is yet to fulfil his electoral promises of providing steady electricity supply, excellent road network, abundant food supply, decent and qualitative education, employment opportunities or adequate security for the citizens.

Gov. Adesina on his part said: We reviewed the situation in the last three or four days in this state particularly in Ibadan. When we viewed the activities of the PDP vis-a-vis the declaration by one time governor of the state, Chief Kolapo Ishola and their forum at Premier Hotel last Saturday, it is our feeling that the PDP leadership in the country and the President of the country should call on their leaders in the South-West not to play with fire because fire burns. And anybody who plays with fire in Oyo State, the fire will consume that person. It is quite a wonder that somebody who should pass for a statesman at this point in time, that is Chief Richard Akinjide should not be planning to rig 2002 and 2003 elections as he and others did in 1983.

It is very painful. If the man could not aspire for any position again, he should allow those who want to aspire to fulfil their ambitions under a free and fair atmosphere. It is this same man who denied Nigeria the services of Chief Awolowo who has been described as the best President that Nigeria never had.

Let him be warned that the people of Oyo State are wiser and they will meet him wherever he wants the battle to take place.

Now, Nigeria is greater than one person. He is also boasting that he will be the consultant to some states in this process of rigging elections. I do believe that Mr. President will not allow this type of people to ruin his chances because any rigging of the poll either in 2002 or 2003 will put Nigeria out of its existence. I pray may this not happen.

Again this other man who always swims in trouble water. Dr. Victor Olunloyo. He is not even ashamed that what he did in 1983, he is planning to do the same again.

How can a man who during the three months of his tenure as governor here, a governor by a rigged poll, drove away all non-indigenes, the Egbas, Ijeshas, Ijebus, Ekiti out of Ibadan. Will that type of person be talking and anybody should be listening to him again? Gov. Adesina who was fuming with anger said, adding: Definitely, the good people of Ibadan will not allow such a person to lead them by the nose again. If he wants to cause any confusion. Let him get out of Ibadan or Oyo State and go somewhere else.

It is forbidden for anybody, be if man or woman of Ibadan origin to seek the destruction of Oyo State at this point in time.

However, sources close to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), informed Vanguard that the commission might soon come up with regulations on utterances of politicians on electoral matters. The source indicated that while INEC was worried about the trend it decided to wait for the passage of the electoral bill before commenting on the issue.