By Tunde Opalana
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for the Edo Governorship Election said it has been made aware of plots by the former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole to design fake military, police and other security agencies’ uniforms for APC ‘thugs’ with the view of using them to unleash violence and clampdown on traditional, faith-based and community leaders in Edo state on trumped-up charges.
The plot which the PDP further claimed will be the peak of the current gory experience of violent attacks on peace-loving people of Edo State in the hands of hired thugs of the APC in the ongoing governorship election campaign in the state.
The campaign council not only condemned the attack at the Oba of Benin palace but also frowned at recent attacks on the campaign train of its candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki from APC thugs.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, the PDP Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party is baffled that despite the attacks and the outcry by the people of Edo state against Oshiomhole and the APC, there has been no investigation or arrest of culprits, neither did the Presidency condemned such nefarious acts.
He said, “To date, the Presidency has said nothing over the meeting held between the APC candidate, Ize-Iyamu, and some thugs, where he was seen on a viral video, giving instructions to them to break electoral laws and use violence to rig elections for him.
“At the moment, nobody has been arrested or questioned by the security agencies and nothing has been heard from the Presidency on that callous invitation to public violence”.
Defending further alleged culpability of the Presidency, the campaign team said “How can a Presidency, under whose watch a police helicopter was deployed to fire tear gas canisters at the electorate, as witnessed in the Kogi election, pretend to be supporting the will of the people?
“How will a government who watched the members of its party burn an innocent PDP woman leader, Mrs. Salome Abuh, to death in Kogi State without any forms of reprimand, claim to detest electoral violence and expect the public trust?
“How will Nigerians believe such gibberish when it is on record that in spite of the manifest electoral violence, vandalism and horrible manipulation by the APC, the Buhari Presidency had always come out to congratulate power grabbers, such as it did in Kogi, Kano, Ekiti, Ondo, and Imo elections, to mention a few”.
However, in the coming Edo election, the PDP assured the APC and its leaders that the people of Edo will never allow the Kogi, Kano, Ekiti, or Osun scenario to play out in their state.
The council said that the ‘brazen admission’ by the Buhari Presidency that Oshiomhole and Prof. Gambari, met at the Presidential villa, during which, as shown in the trending leaked video, “they discussed the arrests of certain individuals ahead of the September 19 election” has confirmed its worst fears.
It indeed speaks volumes that the Buhari Presidency is trying to rationalize the plot by the godfather (Adams Oshiomhole) of the APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who was captured on the trending video, plotting to use compromised security operatives to clamp down on certain unnamed Nigerians to achieve political suppression and rig the Edo governorship election.
Of course, the Presidency and the APC cannot post a denial because they have been caught and exposed by the Nigerian people, who generally detest their lies, propaganda, underhand methods, resort to violence, and rigging of the election.
By describing the discussion by Oshiomhole and Prof. Gambari, in which Oshiomhole was heard finalizing a plot to clampdown political rivals, as “an innocent conversation”, the Buhari Presidency has further exposed its complicity.
“This convoluted admission by the Presidency speaks more of the conversation that must have held behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari”, he said.
While the National Campaign acknowledged the pedigree of Prof. Gambari, it, however, cautioned the Chief of Staff not to allow his record of service to be tainted with the violence being perpetrated by the APC in Edo as well as Oshiomhole’s repeated calls for clampdown on the Edo people ahead of the election.