The All Progressives Congress (APC) one-million-man walk in Abeokuta for Governor Dapo Abiodun on Tuesday grounded vehicular traffic and business activities in the Ogun State capital.
The walk was also to support the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
Ahead of the march, on Monday evening, Gbenga Dairo, the Commissioner for Transportation, who announced the solidarity walk in support of the two candidates said there would be traffic diversions on Abeokuta roads.
The government said the walk would kickoff from the MKO Abiola Stadium, through GTB junction, OPIC Roundabout, Ibara Roundabout, Isale Igbehin, Sapon , Ijaye, Iyana Mortuary, Abiolaway and NNPC all in Abeokuta.
However, when the walk began on Tuesday, the crowd led by the Deputy Governor, Noimot Salako-Oyedele, left the stadium and marched through the ever busy Kuto Market, Isabo, Iyana Mortuary, Adatan, Moore Junction among others, disrupting all activities in the markets.
The APC also mounted a big stage at the NNPC Junction, with loud speakers for performing artistes.
Two traders within the Kuto Market told our reporter that they had incurred losses because of the walk, as many goods were said to have been pushed into the gutter.
Mrs Aderemi, a trader, said a man putting on same vest with the campaigners gave her N5,000 after they had destroyed onions worth over N22,000.
“I still thanked them though, I will go to Oke Mosan, the governor’s office to complain after today. Many traders were affected, they ‘marched’ many goods while passing through this place.”
Also a fish monger, Aderoju Adeola, explained that two persons fell on her displayed fish without waiting to say sorry.
“At the moment I can’t ascertain my loss but I know God is in control. If we know they will pass through this place maybe I wouldn’t have come to the market at all today.”
Motorists in the state capital also expressed pains as passengers refused to pay transport fares while they alighted from cabs to trek.
A tired-looking driver, who identified himself simply as Baba Alade, said he left Panseke for Iyana Mortuary four hours ago “but returned to the park without a dime.”
“Usually, Panseke to Iyana Mortuary should not take more than 30 minute but today’s walk caused me a lot.
“As old as I am, I am tempted to cry today. Our passengers left the cars angrily and they refused to give us one naira.”
The campaigners later assembled at the NNPC junction close to the state secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party.
In a statement signed by the PDP’s state Publicity Secretary, Akin Bankole, condemned the APC for blocking the party’s entrance.
The party spokesperson said this act was targeted at causing violence, saying it takes the intervention of the party leaders to calm the PDP youths.
Mr Bankole also said the APC refused to converge on the stadium, a few minutes walk distance from the PDP secretariat “to disrupt the opposition party’s activity for the day.
“Instead of busying himself with needless blockage of main roads on work day thereby shooting down businesses and desruptiing free flow of traffic in the metropolis, the governor should pay a priority attention to his on going litigations surrounding his eligibility to contest or participate as a candidate in the forthcoming election.
“He needs to absolve himself of a supposed criminal identity of Shawn Micheal. He also needs to prove to the good people of Ogun State who have suffered all manners of needless hardship under the watch of his government about the criminal question of forgery and perjury currently against him.
“The so-called solidarity march for APC and its candidates in Abeokuta metropolis left a sour taste of insensitivity to the plight of the people. It shows rejection as the people have manifestly disassociate themselves from the all the misery and agonies APC represents.”
The party’s youth leader, Sunkanmi Oyedeji, in a separate statement also described the positioning of the APC campaign as a deliberate attempt to infuriate the PDP.
“I had to cancel a very important stakeholders meeting of the youth wing of the party. They completely blocked the entrance to our secretariat. I had to calm down the youths that travelled to Abeokuta for the meeting.
“This is not the Ogun State standard. The governor should tender apology to the Peoples Democratic Party and the people of Ogun State with immediate effect.
“The fact that buses from Lagos in their large numbers came into the state today just for the rally was an eyesore. The question is who is afraid of who ?”
Repeated attempts to speak with the APC Publicity Secretary, Tunde Oladunjoye, were unsuccessful as he didn’t pick his calls or reply to a text message sent to his phone.
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