Osun APC caucus accuses Oyetola’s appointees of using DSS to intimidate members
TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has worsened as a caucus of the party, The Osun Progressives (TOP), has accused some appointees of the State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola of witch-hunting its members.
The APC splinter group, said to be loyal to a former Governor of the State and current Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, claimed that the arrest and detention of a member of the group, Mr Tunde Boladale by the Department of State Security (DSS) was instigated by some appointees of Governor Gboyega Oyetola to intimidate the group.
Boladale, an immediate past Councillor in Isokan Local Government Area of the State was said to have been invited by the DSS in Osogbo on Wednesday and was detained till Thursday around 3pm over some comments he allgedly made against Governor Oyetola.
A statement made available to NEWS BOOM by the Chairman of TOP, Adelowo Adebiyi, condemned what it termed the systematic attempt by some government officials to intimidate its members with state security apparatus.
“We note with sadness that democratic norms are being violated by this tendency and we state that it will never serve anyone with good purpose.
“A staunch member of the Osun Progressives, Mr. Tunde Boladale was held at the State Security Service (SSS) where he had reported since 12noon on Wednesday, based on invitation by the State Director. NEWS BOOM reliably gathered that he was released on Thursday around 3pm.
“It is rather unfortunate that a situation like this is happening to a member of APC who just concluded his service to his local government, Isokan, as a Councillor.
“Mr Boladale had been invited to a meeting by the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr Yemi Lawal who hailed from the same local government where he directed him to renounce his membership of the Osun Progressives (TOP)
“Boladale, however refused saying that since Lawal will not renounce his association with Otunba Omisore who brought him from SDP to APC, he can not renounce his relationship with Aregbesola. The next thing was the invitation by the Director of SSS where he was alleged to have made some statements against the Governor and asked about his membership of the TOP.
“While denying making any statement against the Governor, Boladale affirmed his membership of TOP and unalloyed loyalty to Aregbesola who he said did a lot of good things that he appreciates.
“TOP condemned in strong terms, the persecution of Boladale for holding view and the assault on his freedom of association. Indeed, we consider such steps as anti democracy and a serious negotiation of the provisions of the constitution.
“We note that the invitation of the SSS was premature and unnecessary as a report made to them much earlier of a State Commissioner vomiting verbal assault on video has not attracted their attention till now.
“We smell bias and bad faith in the prompt invitation and detention of Boladale as an example of what to expect by the SSS by anybody with opposing views to the present government,” Adebiyi said.
When contacted on the telephone by our correspondent for reaction, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Yemi Lawal, challenged the APC caucus to substantiate its claim that he instigated Boladale’s arrest.
“Tell them to substantiate their claim. It is easy to accuse. I can wake up now and say Agbor (reporter’s name) don’t like me. One people can also pick their phone and start calling you, Agbor, is it true you don’t like Yemi Lawal? That means the person didn’t do his job well if he concludes that Agbor doesn’t like Mr Yemi Lawal.
“So somebody can wake up and say Yemi Lawal orders DSS to arrest somebody. Does Yemi Lawal has the right to order DSS? Where you there at the time of the order? No! When the young man was picked up, did he say that Yemi Lawal asked that he should be picked up? No! When he got to their office, did he say anything incriminating to Yemi Lawal? No! So, ask them to substantiate their claim,” he said.