Renewed Clampdown On Opposition: Appeal To NSA

The fascist regime of Oyinlola is at it again. On Saturday 18th of October 2008, an arrest was made of an AC chieftain, Mr. Lai Oyeduntan who was also a former Commissioner for Health during Chief Bisi Akande’s administration, in the most suspicious manner suggestive of assassination attempt on him. That the arrest was nocturnal and the killing of his dog in the process further justifies this suspicion. And the following day, which was Sunday October 19, Mr. Sunday Akere, AC Director of Research and Strategy was equally arrested.

The latest arrest of these two AC chieftains has further exposed the zero tolerance policy of Oyinlola’s administration for opposition. It is really a pity that the situation we are dealing with in Osun State today is a case of a small fascist state existing within a larger entity called Nigeria where, generally, there ought to be respect for all shades of opinions and where no one should be persecuted for his opinion as guaranteed by the constitution. The Osun case, as far as the experience of the opposition is concerned under the ruling PDP, is a travesty of President Yar’Adua’s avowed commitment to the principles of rule of law and social justice.

The experience of opposition in the state, especially the AC, has been traumatic, to say the least – being the most vibrant and most critical of Oyinlola’s inept administration. Indiscriminate arrests and detentions of members of opposition on trumped-up charges have been the orders of the day and the deuce of the whole scenario is the way the state apparatus is being employed to oppress and silent the opposition.

The way security officials in the state have made themselves willing tools in the hands of the ruling PDP to hound and criminalize opposition leaves much to be desired. It is therefore high time the National Security Adviser waded into Osun matter with a view to calling Oyinlola and the security officials in the state to order. Otherwise, the consequence of the likely maelstrom that may arise as a result of all these acts of criminality on the parts of the government and the security agents may really be difficult to handle.

Osun State today, under ‘governor’ Oyinlola, has no doubt, been turned to the Paleolithic state when life was nasty, brutish and short.

We see the renewed clampdown on opposition as a condemnable act that has no basis other than a further attempt to continue the harassment and intimidation of opposition elements, especially, those perceived as being very vocal in terms of condemning the anti-people and anti-democratic posturing of ‘governor’ Oyinlola and his co-travellers.

We are all aware of how critical Akere has been of Oyinlola’s misgovernance so far, being the strategic spokesman of AC. And for Mr. Lai Oyeduntan, his arrest could not have been unconnected with the interview he granted recently to the Managing Editor of this paper, Mr. Kola Olabisi in which he carpeted seriously the lacklustre performance of the ruling PDP in the state.

However, in want of reason upon which to hang their arrest, the state police command had to uproot the June 2007 purported bomb blast case. A case that has gone beyond the realm of Osun State police – already being investigated by the force headquarters in Abuja based on IG’s directive. If we may ask, what moral or constitutional authority does a unit of the Nigeria Police has to overrule or attempt to overrule its parent body?

As we condemn in strong term, the callous arrest of the two AC chieftains, we strongly appeal to the National Security Adviser to the presidency, in person of Alhaji Sarki Mukthir to please wade into Osun case urgently in the interest of peace.

A vibrant opposition as it exists in Osun State today is a sine qua non to the development of our nascent democracy. A situation whereby the ruling government views opposition as an enemy to crush by all means is barbaric and anti-democratic and it cannot help our march to democratic greatness.

Even the Honourable Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adejare Bello affirmed in his recent interview with this paper that opposition helps to keep the government on its toes.

While calling on the NSA to wade into Osun matter, we also call for the immediate release of the arrested opposition members and our appeal further goes to all well-meaning Nigerians, human rights groups especially, to rise against the dictatorial and fascist government of Oyinlola in Osun State. Enough is enough.

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