….conspire to unleash violence, disrupt election
The All Progressives Congress in Edo State has called on Nigerians and the international community to subject to scrutiny an alleged plot by the Chairman of Edo PDP Campaign Council, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, and its candidate for the Sept. 19 election, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to unleash violence in the State and disrupt the election.
A statement released in Benin City by the Chairman, Edo State APC Campaign Council, Mr. John Mayaki said that the combination of the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom and Godwin Obaseki of Edo state is both ominous and revealing of the violent, underhand tactics which the PDP allegedly intends to mar the election.
He claimed that while Governor Wike is known to have mastered the art of vote-buying, rigging, ballot-box snatching, and blocking of roads to prevent voters from gaining access to polling stations, it is also true that Mr. Godwin Obaseki just as Wike has perfected intimidation tactics such as vandalization, the destruction of opponent’s properties, and harassment of innocent persons just to obtain power.
He said: “According to reliable data sourced from Peace Map, political violence in Rivers state steadily increased beginning in January 2015, peaking in the lead-up and aftermath of the April gubernatorial elections and this was due largely to the violent attitude of Nyesom Wike who once infamously attended a campaign event wielding a machete.”
“In Edo State, we have seen the same trait. There is a persistent problem in the violent, dishonest, and generally deplorable conduct of the rejected PDP which evidently pose a great threat to the peaceful conduct of the September 19 election.”
“A clear example of their violent conduct and brutality was witnessed by all in the incident that took place on Saturday, the 25th of July, when Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the outgoing Governor of the State, and his cohorts of tax-collectors were confronted, through a peaceful protest, by the people of Edo State who are both repulsed and angered at the continuous unraveling of his collapsing government marked by daily resignations and revelations of fraud.”
“As video evidence and several objective eye-witness accounts show, this incident took place outside of the Palace, in the Oredo Local Council.”
“Before stepping out of his convoy, the youth and older people of Edo State who had gathered within the vicinity of the Oredo Council as it is familiar during political seasons and festive ceremonies, sighted Obaseki’s entourage and immediately expressed their displeasure with the governor’s politics, his administration, and his governance. This visceral reaction is not surprising for people who feel oppressed and enraged that their commonwealth has been so far poorly managed and used to ends not beneficial to them and other taxpayers.”
“The PDP’s turn around to claim that the APC sponsored a protest that organically rose and vociferously spoke against their candidate’s misrule is downright bemusing, and it reveals a party’s hubris, a haughtiness that prevents them from a much-needed soul searching that may have led to changed ways and changed strategies. Unfortunately, they remain adamant in their wrong ways. But even in their illogical stubbornness, the facts remain consistent and eloquent and they are that the APC or any of its organs were not in the palace and the Oredo vicinity on the said day.”
“Furthermore, it is clear that the youths there were never commissioned by the APC and their booing of Obaseki was done on their own accord. It is not the first time the Governor has suffered such treatment, attracted by his failure. Only days ago, the frontal of the Government House was converted into a make-shift football field as protesting owed staff of the Ekiadolor College of Education set camp there to demand their owed salaries.”
“It was in reaction to this frantic and energetic protest of rejection against him and his party in Oredo that Obaseki instructed his arsenal of cultists to open fire on innocent youthful Edo citizens expressing their feelings within the ambit of the law.”
“It should be recalled that previous press conferences and older publications, we have revealed how Governor Obaseki employed into his workforce as SA’s and SSA’s, the heads of various and multiple cult group leaders. The nature and purpose of such employment is respectively temporary and violent, and the unfortunate attack on innocent people on Saturday was carried out by these criminals who were trying to justify the money paid to them by Mr. Godwin Obaseki.”
“The victims of that violent attack have gone public to mention and explain who and how they were assaulted. The victims clearly stated they were attacked by agents of the Governor. To solidify this fact, we will petition the IGP and equally display all video evidence of our cars and other campaign materials destroyed in the riot staged by Obaseki’s thugs.”
“It is important to note that the APC has held several events with no violence, how come it is on the day of the PDP campaign flag-off that so much violence ensued? The intimidated and visionless PDP has resorted to throwing away their competitors out of the window so they only can have the stage. Unfortunately, that is not the way democracy works.”
“Ultimately, it is imperative to also note the violent antecedents of Governor Godwin Obaseki. From the violently charged verb language of his politics to the erratic actions of his ways, proofs abound that this man is not a wise, good, and conscionable leader of peace. On National TV, Godwin Obaseki has repeatedly used terms and phrases like “I will crush”, “I will deal with”, and an endless list of loaded language aimed at inciting violence.”
“The foregoing is not helped by the fact that the Governor selected by the PDP to lead their nefarious ambition to foist a rejected man on the people of Edo State is a renowned man of violence, an insane politician with a bloody gusto, an inclination to graphic and dramatic politics of violent intimidation, scant regard for institutional independence and traditional establishments like the monarch systems. This is a man who appears on campaign grounds with a machete, who like Obaseki arbitrarily bulldozes people’s properties, and who insulted the kings of his state with impunity and rapacious disrespect—again, on national television.”
“Mr. Godwin Obaseki’s politics of violence, intimidation, and despotism has manifested in sinister ways, in means once deemed impossible for the politics of a democratic polity. His bombing of the houses of top APC members even while he was still a member of the party; his open and brazen association with notorious and infamous cultists; attacks and assaults on dissenters and oppositions; etc.”
“To be specific, we can recall that on June 17, 2019, 14 Edo House of Assembly members-elect were physically attacked at the Golden Tulip Hotel by thugs loyal to Obaseki under the supervision of his security aide. We can equally recall that on October 5, 2019, thugs loyal to Obaseki attacked the Benin GRA residence of Adams Oshiomhole at night.”
“On November 2, 2019, Obaseki’s thugs, led by his deputy, Philip Shaibu infamously led the way on a motorbike, attacked Comrade Adams Oshiomhole at Edo University Iyamoh just to embarrass him before his guests.”
“On December 12, 2019, Oshiomhole’s convoy and NWC members were attacked in Benin by thugs loyal to Obaseki. They caused mayhem, burnt vehicles, set bonfire on airport road, and harassed innocent citizens. Also, on December 23, 2019, thugs loyal to Obaseki attacked Prof. Julius Ihonvbere’s constituency office & empowerment program in Owan West LG.”
“The list is inexhaustible. Instead of trying to spin what is glaring, we demand that Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the PDP commence an immediate disengagement of the thugs and cultists that they have furtively conscripted to rig and mar the election they evidently cannot win and hand them over to the Police for prosecution. We also demand an apology and full payment of the medical bills, alongside befitting compensations, of the direct and indirect victims of the senseless attack by Mr. Obaseki’s thugs on Saturday.”