The Osun State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised an alarm over what it described as the indiscriminate arrest of its members across different local government areas of the state ahead of the governorship election.
The party during a press briefing addressed by its Caretaker Chairman, Adekunle Akindele demanded public explanation from the Osun State Command of the Nigerian Police on reasons for embarking on mass arrest of PDP members in the state for some days.
This is at it issued the Osun State Command of the Nigerian Police 24 hours ultimatum to release all PDP members picked up in various local governments and detained unlawfully to avoid untoward reaction from the people of the state.
The party which accused the police of being the lapdog of the All Progressives Congress (APC) alleged that the Osun Commissioner for Works, Remi Omowaiye had been raiding homes of its members with armed policemen and forcefully arresting them.
Describing the act as worrisome, it maintained that residents have been living in constant fear and unnecessary psychological trauma.
“Reports reaching the state secretariat of our great party, the PDP, especially in the last two days confirmed that One Remi Omowaye, a serving Commissioner in the government of Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola has been taking police operatives to private homes of PDP members in some local governments in the state to forcefully arrest them without any just cause.
“Specifically, the police were reported to have invaded private homes of innocent members of our party members in Ijebu-jesha and Eti-Oni in Oriade and Atakumosa East local governments respectively, effecting forceful arrest of our members and inflicting on them bodily harms, even without any warrant of arrest to justify such cause of action against harmless citizens.
“More worrisome is the fact that the police chose the dead of the night to invade citizens’ homes, embarking on sporadic gunshots, thereby subjecting the victims and their relatives to unnecessary psychological trauma.
"This is height of abuse of office by the cabinet member of Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola’s government and acutely unprofessional on the part of the police for making themselves available for unjust harassment of citizens they are being paid to protect.”
While acknowledging that the directive to invade and arrest citizens at night did not emanate from the Office of Olawale Olokode, the Osun Police Commissioner, the PDP insisted that his silence and failure to stem the tide had pointed to the fact that he is a principal accomplice in the criminal activities of his men.
Maintaining that the Osun PDP is a law abiding political party, it lamented that tension is already high already and tempers raised especially in the Ijesha axis of the state in the last couple of days due to the activities of the police.
“Although, we, in this circumstance, wish to cut the Osun State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Wale Olokode some slack of the fact that perhaps he didn’t give the horrendous directive for the reckless and unprofessional invasion and arrest of citizens in the dead of the night and taking them to unknown destinations as the whereabouts of those picked up remained unknown, but his silence and obvious failure to stem the tide has put paid to all doubts about Mr Olokode, being a principal accomplice in the criminal activities of his men.
“Needless to inform Mr Olokode that tension is high already and tempers raised especially in the Ijesha axis of the state in the last couple of days the police have been dancing around with the crude absurdly.
"It is also needless to mention that human beings are moulded with limits of endurance and elasticity, after which reactions may no longer be bottled up.
“As a law-abiding political party, we have had it as part of our management ethics to prevail on our members to exercise restraints in the face of crass provocations as we currently have on our hands, but we must warn, we are not God with absolute capacity over breaking points of adults, men and women, after long suffering in the hands of political bullies."
When contacted, the Osun police spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola said the police is only arresting the criminals regardless of political party affiliation.
“We raided some black spots and arrested some criminals. We don’t know which party they belong to as that is immaterial.
"So it’s a lie that we are arresting members of a political party.”