The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and one of the All Progressives Congress (APC) potential aspirants for 2020 gubernatorial election Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu are currently engaging in a proxy war ahead of the party primary election later this year.
The two politicians who are likely going to square against each other for the APC ticket and their supporters are accusing one another over the rising spate of bombings and other political violence’s in the state.
While Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his supporters are accusing the Governor and followers of been responsible for the rising spate of political violence in the state, the Governor and his supporters are also alleging that violence is the stock in trade of Ize-Iyamu, the suspended National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and their cohorts in the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM).
“Enough is enough. Let us warn them. They should not look at their positions. They don’t have the capacity to sustain what they are doing. And they have to be very careful because if they push us to the wall, the consequence will be disastrous.
“We have been talking peace with our people but if they begin to think they have the licence to kill, they will be mistaking. If the Police cannot arrest them, we can arrest them. This must stop. This rubbish must stop. They must call their people to order” Ize-Iyamu
But in a quick reaction, the Governor in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the state chapter of the APC was peaceful until the EPM and its enablers commenced their nefarious activities across the state.
“We are quite flustered that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has not been able to rein in his people in the face of the reconstitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Reconciliation Committee, tasked to restore lasting peace in the party both in the state and across the country. We are committed to peace and would do right by the people of Edo State by continually supporting all credible means to arrive at a lasting peace in the state.
“At the same time, we want to state clearly that Ize-Iyamu, Comrade Oshiomhole and their cohorts are the common denominators of political violence in Edo State.
“On the 19th of October, 2014, this same Ize-Iyamu announced that his house along Dennis Osadebey Way, GRA, Benin City, where his wife carries out her dental practice was bombed and at that time, he pointedly stated that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who was then governor of the state, was responsible for the attack. From that time till now, there has been a cessation of the use of explosives and other dangerous weapons in causing mayhem and heating up the political space in the state.
“It is therefore rather curious that with the same Ize-Iyamu coming back into the political space in the last three months, extreme political violence has resurfaced with bombs going off in parts of the state and gunmen attacking politically-exposed persons.” Osagie, said
He further stated before that the EPM, under the sponsorship of Oshiomhole, Ize-Iyamu and others, having lost out of the political powerplay in the state and failed repeatedly in their inordinate quest to seize power from Governor Godwin Obaseki through undemocratic means, have now resorted to violence to create a sense of a breakdown of law and order with the intent of forcing the declaration of a State of Emergency in the state.
He urged the Presidency and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to call Comrade Oshiomhole, Ize-Iyamu and their cohorts in the EPM to order so that the destructive descent to violence does not erode the good legacies that have been built over the years by the APC in Edo State.
He also assured Edo people of government’s resolve to maintain law and order, and ensure that the peace and safety in the state is not threatened by whatever means.