From Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
Preparations for this Saturday’s House of Representatives by-election in Kwara State is heating up between the leading Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) as the two trade accusations.
The APC, for instance, has for about a week, been accusing thr ruling PDP of advance vote buying by way of collecting and paying for Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) from prospective voters in the southern zone of the state.
On its part also, the PDP particularly Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, the leader of the party had raised alarm alleging that suspected political thugs were imported into the state by APC.
Ahmed in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, declared that the state is under siege expressed fear over the redeployment of Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) in the Kwara South senatorial district by the Inspector General of Police.
The governor said; “Past experiences in both Ekiti and Osun states had proven that the police force is trying to support the opposition to manipulate the by election.
“Credible information reaching us proves that the police are conniving with the opposition to cause mayhem and intimidate our people and get them defranchised in the by election”.
However, APC chieftains through the party’s regular weekly programme on a radio channel countered the PDP allegation saying rather, leaders who are in PDP today were the ones noted for recruiting and using bloody thugs during elections in Kwara.
They cited alleged confessions of arrested armed robbery suspects to the effect that they were working for the Senate President; Dr Bukola Saraki and that their main job were to forcefully disrupt elections in the state using arms.
Also, APC State Chairman, Hon. Bashir Bolarinwa at a press conference on Wednesday said PDP was only crying wolf where there was none.
Bolarinwa alleged that PDP was already buying voters cards from propective voters in Ekiti/Oke Ero/ Irepodun/Isin Federal Constituency where the election would hold on Saturday.
Not only that, the APC Chairman said PDP was also buying voters cards from voters in the state capital with a view to transporting them to the hinterland on election day to perfect rigging.
Meanwhile, the State Police Commissioner, Mr Fafowora Bolaji, assured that his Command would put arrangements in place to ensure free and safe election.
The police boss also announced total cancellation of the involvement of the men of the Vigilace Group in the exercise on Saturday.
According to him, intelligence reports had shown that uniforms of the group had been sown to be distributed to questionable characters for use election day.