The apex socio-cultural youth group in Edo State, Edo Youth Vanguard (EYV), has sent a strong warning to the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to steer clear of Edo State.
The warning came on Thursday evening – the eve of the planned APC factional rally scheduled for Benin City, the state capital, but which was finally suspended in the evening by Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu as tension rose in Edo.
EYV urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to order over his support for a rally that has the potential of creating crises and breaching the fragile peace in the state.
The Oshiomhole faction had fixed the rally to receive defectors without the knowledge of the State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the party’s state chairman, Mr Anselm Ojezua.
Governor Obaseki travelled on Tuesday with President Buhari to Egypt on national assignment and they are expected to return on Friday.
In a statement issued in Benin by its president, Nosakhare Oseghale, and Secretary General, Edward Ikhide, EYV questioned the rationale behind the proposed rally, stating that the timing and approach are not only wide of the mark but has sinister motives of eventually fomenting pandemonium to create an impression of anarchy in the state.
According to Oseghale and Ikhide, issues of public safety are hanging in the balance if the purported rally is allowed to take place, adding that available security reports clearly give credence to the apprehension that the political rally has sinister motives.
They said: “We are amused that some politicians are planning an ill-conceived political rally for Friday and its being done without the knowledge of the state’s Chief Security Officer, Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is on a national assignment with President Muhammadu Buhari.
“More curious in the ill-timed proposed rally was the complete and deliberate neglect of the party’s state executive led by its chairman, Mr Anslem Ojezua. So, the question begging for answer is who is the Abuja team organizing the rally for?
“This is the yuletide season and there are already movements within and outside the state, why the desperation to pull down the fragile peace in our state just to prove that a deteriorating influence is still potent?
“For all intents and purposes, this planned rally is provocative and highly susceptible to violence. How can you guarantee the safety of Edo people in a rally where neither the state governor, who is the leader of the APC in Edo State, nor other leaders of the party is aware of the purported declaration rally?”
While urging President Buhari to put a check on the activities on Comrade Oshiomhole and his turncoats in Edo State, the youth group vowed to defend the peace and tranquility that is being experienced in the state, adding that, ‘Edo State is greater than anyone man or interest’.
“The Edo Youth Vanguard is calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the father of the nation, to call Comrade Oshiomhole to order for the fragile peace in the state to be preserved and save our dear state from degenerating into a foreseeable collapse. Mr. Adam’s Oshiomhole should be held responsible for any ugly outcome of the proposed event.
“Considering the implications of this rally on public safety, we urge Mr. President to prevail on the anti-democratic elements pushing for such inopportune event to desist forthwith and ensure that the path of peace and reconciliation brokered by Governor Obaseki to resolve the crisis is seen through.
While urging law-abiding residents and party faithful to go about their normal businesses without fear, the youth group advised parents to rein in their wards and enjoin them not to allow themselves to be used to foment trouble in the state.