The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has again raised the alarm over alleged plot by the state governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Godwin Obaseki, to intimidate chieftains of the APC in Edo State.
Vice Chairman, Communication and Publicity of the APC campaign for the election, Mr. Patrick Obahiagbon, who made the allegation on Friday at a press briefing in Abuja, claimed that Obaseki was importing arms and that hoodlums would be deployed on the day of election to disrupt the process.
He said: “Less than one month to the Edo election, and with defeat staring Mr. Godwin Obaseki and his party, the PDP, in the face, they have both abandoned their pretense at democracy and guided participation in the election, and brazenly embarked on the execution of their plans to prevent the people of Edo State from delivering a verdict on the four-year misrule of Obaseki at the polls on the 19th of September with violence and other criminal acts of intimidation.
“Let it be known by the whole world that the Governor of Edo state and his government, in continuation of their disregard for the rule of law, democratic ethics and constitutionalism, have intensified their illegal importation of dangerous arms and ammunition, as well as the daily recruitment and importation of notorious thugs and criminals from neighboring PDP States, particularly Delta, for the purpose of causing mayhem and disrupting the peaceful conduct of the election in most parts of Edo State.
“We have it on good authority that the Edo State government and members of its kitchen cabinet have drawn up a list of prominent APC leaders across Edo State that they have targeted for maiming, physical assault, kidnapping and sponsored robbery attacks whilst also tinkering with the idea of using heavy duty trailers to orchestrate road accidents of APC leaders, before or on the day of the election.”
The PDP in reaction dismissed allegations raised by the APC as baseless, saying Nigerians knew the record of the APC as the aggressor in the forthcoming Edo state election.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan, who reacted to the allegations said “it is unfortunate that Obahiagbon is trading his reputation for a party like the APC,” explaining that “it is on record that the PDP campaign team was attacked at the Oba of Benin palace. It is on record that he shifted his campaign itinerary for the APC. Is Obahiagbon claiming that Governor Obaseki organised the attack on himself at the Oba’s palace?
“Nigerians know the APC for its criminality. Was it PDP that perpetrated violence and brought fake policemen to Kogi State? Was it PDP that set its own Woman Leader, Salome Abuh on fire in Kogi State?
“It is because they are confronted with failure that is why they are raising alarm. They are not even campaigning but planning how to rig the election. But the people of Edo State are determined to frustrate their plan.”
APC speaks further
Asked if the APC would demand for military presence on the day of election, the APC campaign council said the federal government must explore all avenues to ensure that it was not found wanting in the discharge of its constitutional responsibility.
“The election must be free of violence, devoid of coercion. Whatever security stratagem available to the government must be deployed. Governor Obaseki and his people aren’t interested in free and fair elections, it behoves on government to carry out its constitutional responsibility.”
Obahiagbon denied claim that the APC was the aggressor in Edo state, as it was part of PDP’s orchestrated plot to frustrate conduct of the election.
“APC isn’t interested in postponement of election. Our candidate remains the one to beat. “Why should we do that? If there is anyone scheming for that it is PDP and Obaseki. It is PDP that is afraid of election. That’s why they are importing thugs from neighbouring states.”