THE voter registration exercise which commenced in Osun State, on Wednesday, turned violent, as four members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were allegedly shot by suspected supporters of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Morroco Ward, in Atakumosa West Local Government Area of the state.
Briefing newsmen in Osogbo, the state chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Ganiyu Olaoluwa, said “four of our members were shot in an attack sponsored by the APC, while about eight others were injured and currently receiving treatment in undisclosed hospital.”
He further disclosed that the party had reported the incident to the police and the Department of State Security (DSS), stressing that adequate security should be provided at registration units and centres to protect the people.
In a swift reaction, the Director of Media, Research and Publicity of the APC in Osun, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, described the alleged shooting of PDP members by APC as unfounded and baseless.
He accused the PDP of allegedly unleashing terror and violence in majority of registration units in the state, stressing “whatever incident of violence that occurred today was the handiwork of the PDP, who attacked our members and supporters in various units.”
According to Oyatomi, “if we are witnessing this kind of violence in a mere registration exercise, you can imagine what would happen in a real election. There is need for the security agencies to beef-up security, so that eligible voters would not be scared away from performing their civic responsibilities in an electoral process.”
He condemned what he termed apparent unpreparedness and unseriousness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the ongoing continuous voters registration exercise, stressing that “reports from the agents of the parties across the state indicated that even though eligible voters turned out en masse to participate in the exercise, their morale has been dampened having waited several hours without the opportunity to participate in the exercise.”
Oyatomi said the Direct Data Capture (DDC) machines brought by INEC were malfunctioning, with no technical capabilities to address the challenges in Ilesa East, Ife Central, Atakumosa West and Irepodun local government areas, among others.
When contacted on the case of violence and shooting in Atakumosa West Local Government Area, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Osun State police command, Mrs Folasade Odoro, said the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of operations had moved to the scene, assuring that the police were on top of the situation.