By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Ahead of the forthcoming Edo State governorship election, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the party’s candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of displaying a desperation to grab power at all costs.
The PDP similarly wondered when Oshiomhole become the National Security Adviser (NSA) or a service chief to the point of discussing about the security of the September 19 governorship election with the President of the country.
The Secretary, Publicity Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party National Campaign Council for the Edo Governorship Election, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan said this at a press conference yesterday in Abuja.
Ologbondiyan wondered whether Oshiomhole is holding any statutory position in the government or even in the APC, as a party, to warrant a security meeting with the President, asking: if the meeting was not for ulterior partisan purposes on the Edo election, what is it for?
Ologbondiyan, whose press conference theme was, “Villa Leaked Video: Presidency’s Admission Confirms Edo Clampdown Plots”, said, “It indeed speaks volumes that the Buhari Presidency is trying to rationalize the plot by the godfather of the APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Adams Oshiomhole, who was captured on the trending video, plotting to use compromised security operatives to clampdown on certain unnamed Nigerians to achieve political suppression and rig the Edo governorship election”.
Ologbondiyan said, Nigerians were further alarmed by the admission that Oshiomhole, the face of the APC campaign, was at the Presidential Villa for discussions on “emerging incidents of violence in the run up to the election” as well as the “use of Law enforcement”, in an election in which he and the APC have displayed a desperation to grab power at all costs.
According to him, “The question is: when did Oshiomhole become the National Security Adviser (NSA). When did Oshiomhole become a service chief? Is Oshiomhole holding any statutory position in the government or even in the APC, as a party, to warrant a security meeting with the President, if the meeting was not for ulterior partisan purposes on the Edo election?
“This development also points to the obvious fact that the security architecture of our nation has been abandoned by statutory officials and now vested in political hooligans as well as characters like Oshiomhole for suppression of innocent Nigerians and rigging of elections.
“If the meeting was indeed focused on genuinely curbing violence, as being claimed by the Presidency, why were leaders of other political parties and other stakeholders in the Edo governorship election not invited? Why was this meeting centered on the arrest and clampdown of political rivals?
“Our National Campaign on Edo State Governorship Election is worried by the discussion between Oshiomhole and Prof. Gambari because of the history of electoral violence that has characterized elections under this administration.
“Already, our National Campaign has been made aware of plots by Oshiomhole to design fake military, police and other security agencies’ uniforms for APC thugs with the view of using them to unleash violence and clampdown on traditional, faith-based and community leaders in Edo state on trumped-up charges.
“While our National Campaign understands the pedigree of Prof. Gambari, we want to however caution him not to allow his record of service to be tainted with the violence being perpetrated by the APC in Edo as well as Oshiomhole’s repeated calls for clampdown on the Edo people, ahead of the election. The world is watching!
“Furthermore, it is ludicrous for the Presidency to conjure “facts” on parties leveling accusations of violence against one another, while pretending towards the attack on the PDP leaders at the Oba’s Palace in Benin, which has been in the public domain.
“Till date, the Presidency has said nothing over the meeting held between the APC candidate, Ize-Iyamu and some thugs, where he was seen on a viral video, giving instructions to them to break electoral laws and use violence to rig elections for him.
“As at the moment, nobody has been arrested or questioned by the security agencies and nothing has been heard from the Presidency on that callous invitation to public violence.