By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – THE campaigns of political parties ahead of the September 19th governorship election took a twist Tuesday as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP alleged of plots by the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC to cause mayhem in Uzairue, Etsako West local government area which the party said led to it shifting its campaign to Owan East local government area.
State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chris Nehikhare, who spoke on behalf of the party’s Campaign Council, said: “We have received information that leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC have decided to confront and attack members and supporters of the PDP in Etsako West Local Government Area, where former APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole hails from.”
But the Publicity Secretary of the APC, Chris Azebamwan in a swift reaction carpeted the PDP’s position which he said was contrary to a parley the leadership of the two parties had when they discovered that there was a clash of campaign day in Owan East local government area adding that the APC could not have had such plot after such a meeting for cordial campaigns.
Besides Oshiomhole, the deputy governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu is also from that place. A source from the palace of the Ogieneni of Uzairue HRH Kadiri Omogbai IV told Vanguard that the monarch allegedly was mute when Shaibu went to inform him that the campaign would be flagged off in his kingdom. The reason for his action, it was gathered, was because Shaibu allegedly threatened him with deposition when he tried to mediate in the crisis between him and Oshiomhole sometime in 2019.
But Nehikhare said: “We have taken this decision, not because we are timid as a party, but because we do not want to expose thousands of our members and supporters in that part of the state to harm. Our candidate and Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki is a peace-loving leader who places a huge premium on the safety of citizens. We had planned going to Uzairue and Auchi but the APC has just released its campaign schedule that shows that they will be at the same places too, so that they can launch their planned attacks on us.”
According to Nehikhare, “We learnt that the APC campaign team was humiliated and driven out of Esan land, in Edo Central Senatorial District on Monday, by our traditional rulers there. But what we do not understand is why the APC will want to take their frustrations on our members by planning to attack us in Oshiomhole’s local government area.”
But Azebamwan in his response said “I will be surprised that Chris Nehikhare will issue such a statement. The secretary of the APC, Lawrence Okah and his counterpart in the PDP were able to broker a meeting between the two chairmen just yesterday (Monday) when it was discovered that the two parties have rallied in Owan East on the same day. That is the level of conversation we reached before today. If a party has such intentions as being alleged by the PDP, will we broker such a meeting? It is obvious that the PDP knows what will befall it on September 19th and that is they are bringing this kind of issue
“It is either Chris is not on the same page with his chairman or he wants to be seen to and active by spreading falsehood”