The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for the Governorship Election in Edo State, has said party members are not intimidated by the violence unleashed on them at the Oba’s Palace last Saturday, by alleged thugs and supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
However, the campaign council said it was high time the All Progressives Congress was called to order over the new pattern of violence it wants to sustain in the build-up to the gubernatorial elections.
The PDP said this in a press conference held in Abuja and jointly addresses by the spokespersons of the Party and the Campaign Council for Edo state Kola Ologbondiyan and High Chief Raymond Dokpesi respectively.
The duo maintained that while the PDP will continue to urge its members to be law-abiding, it was incumbent on the All Progressives Congress to rein her supporters to order during the campaign period.
“The Peoples Democratic Party definitely is not scared nor frightened nor intimidated by the act. You know that when you have these frequent attacks, there is bound to be apathy, people are bound to be frightened.
“This is not the first time it is coming up. The week before that, when one of the leaders of Edo North died, Barr. Zakawanu Garba, it is also on record that APC members shotguns all the way through, intimidating the three local government areas as they were returning from a rally with the former National Chairman of the APC.
I think it is only very clear and there is no gainsaying about it that the APC must be called to order by the President himself and by the security agencies.
Enough is enough like the chairman of this campaign, Governor Nyesome Wike has said. People are being intimidated, people are being shot at if you look at the clip of what transpired which AIT carried.
“One of the leaders of APC clearly said that they came to the palace earlier on prepared and once the PDP governors, senators, leaders were approaching the palace, they opened fire on them, they started shooting. It would have been very easy to actually respond but we are law-abiding in the Peoples Democratic Party.
“We are not cultists in the Peoples Democratic Party. Look at the clear records of the people in the PDP, they are men of distinction, men of honour, peace-loving people and people ready to provide service to the people of Edo State,” they stated.
The PDP said such action was one of desecration of the palace of the respected traditional institution for which the APC must tender an apology even admit said the PDP remained shocked at lack of remorse by the APC and its leadership over the matter.
More disturbing for the PDP was that the ruling party elected for a diversionary statement alleging to the contrary that the PDP started the trouble when it was clear that, perpetrators of the heinous act was alleged supporters of the All Progressives Congress.
“Our National Campaign Council is also appalled by the display of arrogance and lack of remorse by Oshiomhole and the APC candidate – Ize-Iyamu, since the inexcusable brazen contempt and desecration of the Edo traditional institution and the sensibility of the people of Edo state in general.
Nevertheless, we hold that the apologies should also openly go to the Edo traditional council and the people of Edo state in general.
“Nigerians are still in a state of shock that the APC leaders in Edo, in their desperation, could go to the extent of bringing thugs to the Oba of Benin palace to attack PDP entourage, which included state governors, and in the process brought unbridle violence against innocent citizens, as seen in the video posted by their agents.
“Moreover, the Sunday’s press statement by the National Working Committee of the APC, wherein it attempted to divert public attention from the culpability of its arrogant leaders in Edo state, is a clear confirmation that the APC’s attack at the Palace had the official backing of its national leadership of the APC.
“It is also instructive to note that the APC, its sacked national chairman as well as its governorship candidate, Ize-Iyamu, have always shown open disparagement and disrespect for the traditional institution in Edo state.
“Nigerians can recall how Adams Oshiomhole and other APC leaders shunned the peace meeting called by the most venerated Oba of Benin early this year.
“The Saturday’s attack at the Oba Palace by APC thugs as well as the failure by APC leaders to apologize, even after their involvement was exposed in the last Saturday’s Attack, is therefore in furtherance of APC’s total disregard for the traditional institution in Edo state,” the duo said at the briefing.
The PDP campaign council also said that the desperation shown in the use of violence to intimidate voters by the All Progressives chairman was predicated on the fear by Oshiomhole that he maybe probes for alleged malfeasance while in office.
“Being out of a job, following his disgraceful removal in the APC and sack as national chairman of that party; in addition to fears of prosecution for alleged stealing of billions of naira belonging to Edo state while he was governor, Adams Oshiomhole is desperate to foist Ize-Iyamu, the same individual he exposed as a treasury looter, as governor just to have unfettered access to the state treasury as well as shield himself from prosecution.
“Our National Campaign has already been made aware of plots by the APC to suppress the people of Edo State by using a certain group of thugs, who were seen on video being contracted by Ize-Iyamu, to orchestrate pockets of violent attacks in various parts of the state so as to scare the people, create an impression of security breakdown and pave the way to truncate the wish of the people of Edo state.
“Already, the APC’s plot against the people of Edo has been exposed by their attack at the Oba Palace and the barefaced desecration of the values, which the people of Edo state hold in the highest esteem,” The PDP said.
The spokespersons for the campaign organisation said that Obaseki remained focused on good governance and issue-based campaign and will not be distracted by rejected treasury looters, deceivers, self-confessed liars in the APC, who are desperate to foist an oppressive regime on the people by brute force.