By Faith Abeke
AN aide to the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi, Katch Ononuju, has accused All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearer, Bola Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, of violence against opposition candidates in APC-controlled states.
Ononuju said this when he appeared alongside Oluwaseun Faleye, a supporter of the former Lagos State governor, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday.
According to him, “We are very disturbed about it. When Tinubu and Shettima emerged, we knew their history with violence, but we were surprised when we saw the violence visited at a rally in Kaduna, also now repeating itself in Maiduguri. We are very worried, we are also aware that the APC supporters in Lagos have used violence repeatedly,” Ononuju said.
He also denied the claim that Obi supporters, known as ‘Obedients’, are also guilty of attacking opposition parties.
Ononuju said LP supporters are emotional crusaders but are not violent.
“Labour Party supporters are vehement, emotional crusaders. These are supporters that were on the streets before Mr Peter Obi provided a face for their struggle.
“These are not normal politicians; these are Nigerian youths, and Nigerian youths are not known to be violent. When they were protesting two years ago when this revolution took shape, the government tried to violently suppress them, but the government was not able to,” he said.
According to the LP chieftain, ‘Obidients’ have suffered more in the hands of the government than any other group of people.
“That is why we seek to build a new Nigeria that will be inclusive in the rights of citizens not to be violated and molested by the government as were the case,” he said.
Reacting to Ononuju’s comments, Faleye described the allegations as unfounded, noting that Lagos has a history of free and fair elections.
“They (the allegations) are unfounded, and that is just it because I don’t understand where he got that from. Historically, Lagos has been the bastion of free and fair elections without violence. Lagos is where all the states look up to the conduct of elections. Asiwaju (Tinubu) has been at the forefront of campaigns for peaceful elections,” the APC member said.