By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole and the leader of the Federal House of Representatives, Col. TundeÂ Akogun (rtd), engaged themselves in a war of words over allegation that the latter abducted officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) posted to Aiyegunle, his home town, to conduct the House of Assembly re-run election for Akoko Edo constituency 1 last weekend.
While Akogun and another chieftain of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, described the allegation as â€œlaughableâ€, the governor insisted that Akogun and not his aides abducted the INEC officials so as to pave way for rigging by the PDP.
Akogun alleged that his Aiyegunle country home was under siege through out the election due to alleged invasion of the area by political thugs and policemen from Government House which, according to him, deprived supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the area from casting their votes after elections materials were allegedly snatched away by armed thugs.
But Governor Oshiomhole, who narrated how the â€œPDP machine was dismantledâ€ during the election at the 21st Annual National Education Conference of the National Union of Texile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), insisted that the majority leader abducted the INEC officials â€œso as to perfect the rigging which was resisted with the help of the vigilant police officers and votersâ€.
The governor said â€œwe should ask ourselves what credential does the PDP have to win election in Edo State. They have none. They were rigging before I came but I am now in town. They tried all they could to rig in Akoko with the thugs and cultists they imported but we stopped them.
â€œAnd it is because they could not rig, they started calling for the cancellation of the election. I told them that all I want is one man one vote and without that, no one will go home. And I am glad the election was very free and fairâ€.
However, Akogun, who was in company of a leader of the PDP in the state, Chief Dan Orbih, told newsmen that â€œ the governorâ€™s ADC led thugs to take away voting materials and INEC officials immediately after I went home to get my voterâ€™s card.
â€œSo, it was quite shocking and laughable to hear that I was the one that kidnapped the INEC officials. How can you say you found somebody in my house without me knowing about it?Â Â They are just talking rubbish and they know the truthâ€.