By Simon Ebebulem
BENIN â€” THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akoko-Edo Local Government Council,Â Â Edo State, alleged, yesterday, that the state chapter of Action Congress (AC) had concluded plans to import thugs from neighbouring states of Kogi and Ondo for the House of Assembly by-election scheduled for September 22, 2009.
However, Action Congress (AC), through its spokesman in the state, Mr. Retti Uzzi, described the allegation as untrue, adding that â€œthey are even the ones planning to bring in the army through the Defense Minister, General Godwin Abbe, to intimidate our people from coming out to vote.â€
It would be recalled that the Appeal Court had sacked the PDP candidate representing Akoko-Edo constituency in the state House of Assembly, Mr. Anslem Agabi, after it declared that there was no election in the area during the April 14, 2007, governorship and House of Assembly elections.
The court ordered for a re-run election between Agabi and the AC candidate, Mr Kabir Adjoto. The scheduled election has brought fresh political tension to the state due to the implication the result would have for both parties in the House of Assembly.
However, in a statement signed on behalf of the leadership of the PDP in Akoko-Edo council by Mr. Stanley Kayode, the party warned that it would resist any attempt by external forces to storm the area on election day in order to rig the election in favour of the AC.
According to the party, â€œwe are aware of the plans by Action Congress to import arms and thugs to rig the forthcoming election in favour of the Action Congress candidate, Mr Kabir Adjoto, against the PDP candidate, Mr Anslem Agbabi, whose election was nullified by the Appeal Court . â€œThe AC is jittery and planning mayhem because they know their candidate is very unpopular.
We know that the PDP as a party, has the popularity to win the election in a free and fair atmosphere. But we want to say that we are aware of the secret meetings of the AC where they have perfected plans to import thugs from neighouring states to ensure that we lose the election. â€œWe believe we have all it takes to win the election and urged the AC to play politics instead of relying on rigging which will be resisted.â€