BENIN â€”THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has raised an alarm over alleged plans by the state government to instigate students and non- governmental organizations (NGOs) to protest the refusal of the state House of Assembly to confirm the list of members of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) as presented to it by Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
The PDP in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Chief Nosa Adams, made available to newsmen in Benin City, weekend, alleged that the students and others who would participate in the protest had been mobilized financially.
According to the PDP,Â the protest is targeted against some principal officers of the House and also planned to disrupt the House proceedings.
But in a swift reaction, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Abdul Oroh, said the PDP was just being mischievous with such allegation â€œbecause they are in disarray; they do not even know what is happening at allâ€.
Oroh said that â€œ there is no truth in that allegation. The state government is not involved in such a plan and can never be involved because it is busy trying to fix the state back to where it belongs after the PDP had almost killed the infrastructure in the state.
â€œThe PDP just wanted to collect money from somebody in Abuja to give the impression that they are working. But their antics will not work because nobody can take them seriously any moreâ€.
However, the PDP insisted that â€œ we have it on good authority that the state government has employed the services of some unsuspecting student organizations and some disgruntled NGOs by enticing them with money to embark on a violent protest against the state House of Assembly and some of its principal officers.
â€œTheir aim is to harass and intimidate the lawmakers into clearing the UBE Board membersâ€™ list sent to the House by the governor.
â€œWe wish to remind the governor and his agents that the issue of the UBE Board is beforeÂ a court of competent jurisdiction and there is a subsisting order of injunction by the court restraining the House from clearing the list.
â€œSo, if the governor truly believes in the rule f law and due process as he always claims, he should wait for the outcome of the court proceedings or better still recall the board members he illegally and arbitrarily dissolved while their tenure had not yet elapsed.
â€œObviously, the state governor is doing what he knows best; that is, organizing protests and demonstrators. But we wish to advise the governor that governance is about providing the people with basic needs, the advancement of democratic principles and the rule of law rather than using the state resources to pay protesters and demonstrators.â€