The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun state has flayed Governor Gboyega Oyetola for using coercion and threat of dethronement against traditional rulers “in a bid to force endorsement for his doomed re-election bid.”
In a statement, the party described “violent attacks at the palace of the paramount ruler of Osogbo,” as “reprehensible” and condemned “such display of thuggery and violence unleashed in a bid to stop the PDP candidate from visiting the traditional ruler.”
The statement, issued on behalf of the party by Dr. Akindele Adekunle, Chairman CTC, PDP, Osun State Chapter, said that the “Governor and his agents have been attacking PDP members and billboards. We did not retaliate because of our commitment to peaceful election. We have alerted security agencies on this ugly trend as we seek that the police should be neutral and supportive of law and order during this election.
“The APC has moved from attacking PDP members and billboards to these unwarranted attacks on the palace of the revered monarch, which is a sacrilegious intrusion by Oyetola’s men, an insult on the entire people of Osogbo and a gross disrespect for traditional institutions and values of Yorubaland.
“Instead of apologising to the traditional ruler for his orchestrated assault on Osogbo traditional institutions, the Governor’s henchmen have been threatening fire and brimstone with some of them calling for dethronement of the traditional ruler. This is simply an abuse of power and further testimony of the low status Oyetola accords traditional rulers in his government.
“As we warn against any move to punish any traditional ruler who decided to stay as father of all irrespective of political affiliation, we commend our courageous traditional rulers across the state for standing for truth and the wellbeing of their people.
“Whilst we mock the desperation of Oyetola for another term in office, we must remind him that traditional institution is too important to be dragged into the shameful push for power. Traditional rulers have a duty to all subjects, and it is desperation taken too far to threaten them with deposition for maintaining neutrality in a political contest. Being in power is no license to make reckless and outrageous demands, most especially on traditional rulers who have a role to be father of all, irrespective of partisan leaning or status.
“Governor Oyetola and his agents should know that power is transient and as such, they should stop arm-twisting traditional rulers to adopt Oyetola in an election that the Governor is destined to lose.
“If Oyetola believe his performance justifies another term in office, we urge him to face the electorate and not pressure traditional rulers as we are seeing lately. We want to warn that this undemocratic move is not acceptable to Osun people and we hope Governor Oyetola will realize that the cost of rubbishing age-long traditional institution for a temporary office will be too weighty and worse, hard to repair.
“As a party, we want to state our support for the position of Ataoja of Osogbo against violence before, during, and after the July 16 governorship election. For emphasis, our party is committed to peace, and believes the revered traditional ruler was in order in preaching against violence in the election. Only a party that plans to deploy violence in the upcoming governorship election will be uncomfortable with Ataoja’s message.
“Therefore, we will not tolerate any form of witch-hunt of the Ataoja, or any monarch in Osun state for that matter, for simply canvassing against violence in the election. Just as we have always promoted, the decision on who leads rests solely on the electorate, and whoever seeks office should go to them, not threatening traditional rulers.”