Twelve days to the Ondo state governorship election, the Labour Party has decried what it called the importation of thugs and supporters from neighbouring states to attend rallies, manipulate and to vote in the election slated for October 20.
The party raised the alarm in a statement issued in Abuja by its National Chairman, Dan Nwanyanwu.
The Chairman noted that thousands of hired supporters and thugs were ferried into Ondo State from neighbouring states and beyond to attend recent rallies conducted by two major opposition political parties in the state.
The statement reads in part: “We are constrained by our recent experience in the ongoing political campaigns and rallies in Ondo State to call on the National Assembly to consider legislating against politicians and political parties hiring supporters and thugs from outside a State or a particular constituency to attend political rallies especially where they are not registered to vote in the elections taking place in such state or constituencies.
“In one of such rallies we counted about 500 commuter buses that transported such people to Ondo State in the desperation to create the erroneous impression that the Party has popular followership in Ondo State.
“This is likely to be a prelude to a well oiled plot to manipulate the election and use the outcome of such rallies to impress on the unwary public that the Party is actually popular among the people of Ondo State when the contrary is the case”
He said that this desperate move can very easily trigger off the breakdown of law and order since such hired supporters and thugs are usually at the whims, caprices and command of those who hired them.
“The legislation we are recommending here will help to improve on the transparency and credibility of the election process as well as security situations in areas where elections are conducted.
“We also call on security agencies to be more alert and responsible to their duties since it has become known that it is possible to hire such large troops of miscreants into Ondo State without any let or hindrance. A Stitch in time saves nine, the old saying goes.” He added