The Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in Ogun State, on Tuesday, denied involvement in the violent disruption of Saturday’s election in some parts of the state.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the State had accused members of the transport union of engaging in ballot box snatching, harassment and intimidation of voters in some parts of the State.
The party alleged that the State chairman of the union, Akibu Titilayo, popularly known as Efele led his members to attack several polling units in Ogun East Senatorial District of the State where ballot boxes were snatched and ballot papers burnt.
The party also alleged that Akibu and some members of the union were arrested by the police with AK-47 riffles, but were later released.
But, reacting to the allegations, the secretary of the union, Tiwalade Akingbade in a statement in Abeokuta on Tuesday said, the PDP was engaging in a campaign to disrepute the union.
He described the allegations as “falsehood mischievous, baseless and incredible”.
Akingbade said, the RETEAN chairman never left his Ososa home in the Odogbolu local government area of the State after casting his vote on Saturday.
He said, “We state categorically that the allegations of arrest by the police, perpetration of violence and disruption of the voting process, and carrying weapons on the day of governorship and House of Assembly elections by our State Chairman, Comrade Akibu Titilayo, alias Efele, were totally false and mischievous, baseless, incredible and without concrete evidence. It is in the imagination of the warped mind of the author of the statement as is far from the truth.
“There was not a shred, not even an atom of truth in it. It was mere blackmail and attempts to swindle and hoodwink the general public to believe that their defeat at the polls by Prince Dr Dapo Abiodun, governor-elect and the All Progressives Congress was caused by political thuggery and violence.
“The allegation that he was arrested by the police and released within an hour was false, unsubstantiated and an allegation from the pit of hell.”
He noted that the union had sensitized and warned its members against engaging in electoral violence and any act capable of disrupting the peace of the State even before the election.
Akingbade added, “We also state categorically that RTEAN is not a government-controlled union. We are independent, voluntary, free from government control and registered by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity.
“We believe that PDP was engaging in this smear and wild voyage because of the disappointment of the outcome of the election.
“They resorted to blackmail, name-calling, character assassination, threat and intimidation because there is a lack of substantial facts or evidence in their baseless and unfathomed allegations and false accusations against our own Efele.
“There is no substance in the PDP claims. It is mere instruments of political justifications, baseless rhetoric and propaganda to justify their claims of rigged elections”.