By Ozioruva Aliu
THE crisis in Edo State All Progressives Congress, APC, ahead of this year’s governorship election escalated yesterday, with Governor Godwin Obaseki, calling on all relevant security agencies to place Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and other members of Edo Peoples Movement, EPM, under close surveillance in order to put an end to the rise in the use of explosives to create a sense of insecurity in the state.
But co-convener of EPM and former Attorney General of the state, Henry Idahagbon, described the call as a mad decision coming from the principal suspect in the escalated violence in the state.
On his part, Ize-Iyamu said, the fact that the state government had kept mute since the attacks on people’s homes speaks volume when the people affected were those he has publicly threatened.
A statement by Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie said the security alert had to be sent because of the desperation of Ize-Iyamu and members of EPM to throw the state into chaos to achieve their machiavellian aims.
He said: “With Ize-Iyamu and his colleagues in EPM unhappy with the recent peace and reconciliation committee led by the elder statesman, Chief Bisi Akande, we gathered that they plan to orchestrate more mayhem to scuttle the APC peace process in Edo and possibly force President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in Edo State.
“This is most unacceptable and we are placing the relevant security agencies on notice that they should keep a close watch on Ize-Iyamu and other members of EPM. The Nigerian Police Force, the Nigerian Army as well as an anti-bomb squad and other relevant security operatives should monitor him and his acolytes closely.”
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Reacting, Idahagbon said, “We are ready to be placed on surveillance because we are not planning any evil but the governor and his men should be placed on the surveillance too so that security agencies will actually know who is responsible for the violence in the state.”
On his part, Ize-Iyamu said, “They should stop trying to divert issues. The governor is the Chief Security Officer, he collects security votes every month to bring peace. They are throwing bombs in your state and you are not condemning it. You are not going to the scene to inspect, you are completely non-challant about it and these people they are throwing bombs at in their homes are people you have publicly declared that you will deal with, what do you want us to think? It is absurd for you to say that it was the same people that are throwing bombs.
“Crusoe Osagie that is talking now, has he gone to visit the place? A bomb will explode if you are really concerned about police investigating, will you not visit the scene? Let the government embrace peace and encourage everybody to live in peace and condemn violence.”