The Chairman, Organisation and Mobilisation Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-West, Mr. Buruji Kashamu, has said his organisation, Omoilu Foundation, distributed 66,000 litres of kerosene to residents of Osun State.
Kashamu, who spoke in Ede with PUNCH on Sunday through the Managing Director of the Foundation, Mr. Samson Onasile, just before the start of the distribution, said the gesture was not to induce voters but to assist the people.
He added that an additional 66,000 litres of kerosene would arrive in Osogbo this week for distribution.
Onasile said the group was not involved in any fraudulent activity which could disenfranchise voters in Osun State contrary to the claim of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
He explained that politicians started making overtures to the foundation having realised that members of the foundation who were benefitting from the magnanimity of Kashamu had electoral value.
Onasile said, “The Omoilu Foundation gave out 750 vehicles and 1,000 motorcycles in 2006. The chairman (Kashamu) at times distributes recharge cards to members without asking them to do anything for him.
“We are distributing kerosene today to assist our members in the state (Osun State).
“Before you are registered as a member of the foundation, you are requested to obtain a form and we get your data. We ask them to come with their voter cards to know that they registered.
“We encourage them to register so that they would be able to vote and we ask them to bring their cards to know that they truly registered and got their cards.”
According to him residents of Ondo State and other states which are not preparing for elections are also registering to become members of Omoilu Foundation.
Onasile said the allegation that the foundation was an occult group was a lie and was aimed at discrediting its chairman.
“We have registered 140,000 members for Omoilu Foundation in Osun State as of today and many are still obtaining our forms.
“We are distributing 66,000 litres today and before Tuesday additional 66,000 would arrive for distribution. The kegs for the kerosene is branded PDP of course and the chairman is a leader of the PDP and would work for the interest of the party.
“Omoilu Foundation is not an occult group like some politicians are saying. We are interested in the welfare of our members,” he added.
It will be recalled that Governor Rauf Aregbesola has asked the people of the state to shun registering with the foundation while claiming the group was an occult one.
The Director, Communication Research and Strategy, Osun APC, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, described the distribution of kerosene as a ploy to hoodwink the citizenry.
Oyatomi said, “Why do you need to collect people’s voters’ cards if not for fraudulent purposes?