The APC accused Rhodes-Vivour of tacitly preparing the ground for violence in Lagos State and asked security agencies to hold him responsible in case of any incident.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has put security agencies on alert over the comments made by the Labour Party governorship candidate in Lagos, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, regarding the conduct of the governorship election in the state.
Rhodes-Vivour in a video in the afternoon of Saturday, March 18, 2023, had accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security operatives of playing the ostrich while political thugs unleashed violent attacks on Labour Party voters in different parts of Lagos.
His comments came after incidents of attacks, voter intimidation, and vote suppression were reported in several areas believed to have high concentration of Labour Party voters, judging by the voting pattern during the presidential election February 25, 2023.
He warned that if the incidents continued without any restrain, supporters of the party may be left with no other option than to take matters into their hands,.
“INEC and the police [should] realize that they are provoking Lagosians right now. If tonight Lagos catches fire, it is not our fault. It is because they did not do the right thing. A lot of areas are still under intense attacks by thugs and hooligans of the APC. I call on INEC and the police not to set Lagos on fire.
“This is a state that houses 22 million people. Having that many people angry because of their disenfranchise is not something Nigeria needs right now,” Rhodes-Vivour had said.
Reacting to the development, the Lagos APC in a statement issued by its Spokesman, Seye Oladejo, on Saturday evening said Rhodes-Vivour’s comment is a prelude to premeditated violence.
Oladejo described the Labour Party candidate’s utterances as unsportsmanlike, adding that security agencies should hold him responsible if things go awry in the state.
The statement read: “The attention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to a statement made by Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate Gbadebo Chinedu Rhodes-Vivour on today’s elections.
“He accuses the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police of “provoking Lagosians” and warning that “if tonight Lagos catches fire, it is not our fault”. He says “a lot of places are still under attack by thugs and hooligans of the APC”.
“This scaremongering is typical of bad losers who lack the spirit of sportsmanship. The security agencies should note Mr Rhodes-Vivour’s threat to set Lagos on fire as his predilection for violence and warmongering is well known to Nigerians.
“Should there be any breakdown of law and order in any part of our state, law enforcement agencies should know who to grab – Mr Rhodes-Vivour. We are compiling reports of how APC supporters were harassed and attacked today. Some of the reports are really scary.
“Now the LP candidate is playing the victim. This old trick won’t work; discerning Lagosians know they are all lies deployed to attract sympathy.
“Our party has no need to be violent because we are sure of the glittering credentials of our candidate Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu who will never be associated with violence.
“We advise LP and its candidate to embrace peace instead of threatening to bring down the roof on everybody.”