BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN – AS campaigns for the April elections hot up in Edo State, the former Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Lucky Imasuen, has raised alarm over alleged plans by Governor Adams Oshiomhole to incite his Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, members to eliminate him and other leaders of the ACN under the guise of checking election riggers in the state.
Imasuen was reacting to the comments credited to Governor Oshiomhole at a rally of the ACN in Okada, Ovia North East Local Government Area last week, where the governor was quoted to have recalled how members of the party were able to stop Imasuen from allegedly perpetrating rigging for his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, during the April 2007 elections, and went on to urge the ACN members to kill anyone who tried to rig the forthcoming general elections in the state.
However, Imasuen, who faulted the statement in Benin City, yesterday, said it was a direct attack on his person and family, and even Chief Tony Anenih, who was also allegedly mentioned at the rally by the governor. He added that he had petitioned the Inspector General of Police over the incident, which he said was capable of plunging the state into bloodshed.
But in a swift reaction, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Peter Okhiria, denied Imasuen’s allegation, saying the governor only called on the people to deal with anybody who rigged elections. “The governor only told the people of his council to ask Imasuen what he did for them as Chief of Staff and later as Deputy Governor of the state. The governor did not call for the elimination of Imasuen in the name of rigging.
The governor said the people should deal with anybody who rigs election. ”
However, Imasuen who also is the Coordinator- General of the Jonathan/Sambo campaign in Edo State, said, “I have invited my lawyer and we are putting a comprehensive petition together , which will be forwarded to appropriate authorities, including INEC, and the Inspector General of Police to bring to their attention the activities of the Edo State governor.
I am taking all necessary steps to make sure that this thing is reported and call on them to do all they can to protect me and my family.”