The Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Congress in Kogi State have been exchanging brickbats over pre-election violence.
The PDP stated on Friday in Lokoja that the APC was responsible for Thursday’s destruction of its properties and those of its members in Ofu Local Government Area of the state.
In a swift response, the APC dismissed the claim, saying it is the PDP that has violence as its hallmark.
Yomi Awoniyi, Director-General, PDP Presidential Campaign Council in Kogi State, decried the resurgence of attacks on PDP and its members in a statement issued by Austyn Ochu, spokesman of the PCC in the state.
The statement said: “We were taken aback on Jan. 26 by an unrestrained attack on PDP chieftains and destruction of their properties by suspected members of the APC in Ofu Local Government Area of the state.
“The unprovoked attacks in three communities of Ajaka, Ejule and Aloma were masterminded by a House of Representatives member and suspected thugs of the ruling APC as a test run of the pre-election violence.
“This is aimed at intimidating members of opposition PDP, which is already well-positioned to win Kogi for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar at the Feb. 25 presidential election.
“The attack on PDP members and wanton destruction of properties in the three communities give credence to the fear expressed by the PCC in the past.
“PDP had requested in the past that Kogi be placed on the radar of security agencies as a black spot in the march towards the presidential election.”
According to Awoniyi, the attacks are clear signs of a jittery party that is intolerant of its imminent failure at the presidential election and must not be allowed to fester to stave off anarchy.
Responding, Kingsley Fanwo, member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council and Commissioner for Information in Kogi State, debunked the claims by the PDP and described it as “the figment of its imagination’’.
Fanwo said there was no such report that any APC member was involved in any act of violence in any part of the state on Thursday.
He said: “It will interest you to know that violence is the stock-in-trade of the PDP even when they were in power back then.
“As APC-led administration, we came and changed the narratives and there’s relative peace across Kogi compared to the PDP days.”
He added that what was paramount to Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration was to maintain the peace the state had been enjoying for the conduct of peaceful and successful general elections.