In a strongly-worded statement released today, the Ogun State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) vehemently denounced the recent arrest of Damilare Bello, the representative of Sagamu 1 State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS). The party categorically labeled the arrest as politically motivated, asserting that it appeared to be a calculated effort to tarnish the lawmaker’s reputation.
Akinloye Bankole, the Publicity Secretary of the Ogun PDP, issued the statement, which was made available to the press in Abeokuta. Bello’s arrest stems from his alleged involvement in the recent cult clash in Sagamu, a tragic event that claimed the lives of no fewer than 20 individuals.
According to the statement, Bello is being held on suspicions of providing shelter to fleeing cultists. DSS operatives, acting on a tip-off, conducted a sting operation resulting in the arrest of Bello and six others at his residence. The individuals arrested were identified as Damilare Bello Mohammed (aka DRE), Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya, and Tobi Owoade.
“While we do not oppose the investigation conducted by the DSS or any other security agency into the Sagamu tragedy, which has tragically claimed more than 25 lives, we believe that the probe lacks the necessary professionalism and transparency,” the PDP statement contended.
The statement also highlighted an incident where the residence of the honorable member in Sagamu was reportedly vandalized by suspected thugs associated with the All Progressives Congress (APC). This occurred on the same day Bello had returned from London to Abeokuta, where he had raised concerns about security matters in his constituency during a legislative session.
The PDP alleged that the recent wave of violence in Sagamu could be attributed to the empowerment of cultists by the APC, holding the DSS responsible for ensuring non-partisanship in its duties. The party emphasized that the security agency should not be reduced to a tool of political witch hunts by the governor and APC against perceived opponents.
“As a law-abiding political organization, our great party will collaborate with the DSS and other security agencies to maintain peace and tranquillity in Ogun State. However, we will not stand idly by while innocent members of the public are targeted,” the PDP Publicity Secretary affirmed.
Bankole further called on the state government to investigate its inner circles within Sagamu Local Government to determine the source of the ongoing turmoil. He stressed that it was incumbent upon Governor Abiodun to exercise sincerity and transparency in addressing the situation.