By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”As the re-run election for Etsako Central seat in the state House of Assembly, fixed for the 16 January, 2010, draws nearer, the people of the area are seeking for refuge in neighbouring communities due to rumours that supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Action Congress (AC) have imported grenades and other dangerous weapons for use during the election.
Vanguard learnt that several families in the area have concluded arrangements with the neighbouring communities to seek refuge in their homes to avoid being killed duringÂ the re-run election.
Etsako Central is the strong hold of the Chairman of the PDP in the state, Chief Dan Orbih, the Principal Secretary to the Vice-President, Chief Mike Oghiadomen, and former Chief of General Staff, Admiral Mike Akhigbe.
AC candidate for the election, Mr. Johnson Oghuma, alleged that the PDP had concluded plans to use the military, the Nigeria Police and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the election.
According to him, â€œ as I am talking to you now, PDP has declared war on Action Congress members in EtsakoÂ Central local government area, from Uralokhor (Iraokhor) to Anegbette.
â€œPDP has been working to make sure the re-run election does not holdâ€.
But countering his claim, PDP candidate, Mr. Chris Umogbai, asserted that â€œ AC is perfecting what they did in Akoko Edo election.
â€œ They are not ready for the election at all. We are aware that they have started moving in thugs already and harassing our people.
â€œThe people are scared but we have told them to be strong, they cannot stop our victory no matter the power they have at the state level”.
â€œThey started violence by beating the councillor representing my ward.