The Election Security Threat Analysis Report of the Police, warning against violence in the Edo governorship election, due to politicians’ importation of arms and thugs, is an confirmation of our previous petitions and warnings on the criminal arms’ build-up by Governor Obaseki and the PDP, the APC has said.
The party reacted to the new report made public by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, which warned against the occurrence of violence and other illegalities during the election.
The report had highlighted several indicators including arming and movement of political thugs, use of inciting statements during political campaigns, high likelihood of violence and possible cross-attacks by political opponents, misinformation/disinformation aimed at heating-up of the polity, among others.
In a statement by Mr. John Mayaki, the Chairman of the Edo APC Media Campaign Council, the APC said the report backed its previous allegations of arms’ build-up against Governor Godwin Obaseki and the ferrying of thugs from “neighboring PDP states, most notably Delta State, which is governed by Senator Ifeanyi Okowa.”
Citing the attack on the Edo Assembly complex and the arrest of seven persons caught with firearms during the invasion, the APC said the incident exposed Governor Godwin Obaseki’s direct involvement in the arming and funding of thugs to carry out violent attacks across the state as he allegedly mounted pressure on the Police to secure the release of the suspects who have now been charged to court.
The APC also accused the Governor of shielding his aides, Mr Kabiru Adjoto and Mr Osaigbovo Iyoha, from investigation after they were allegedly mentioned by the arrested suspects as their direct contact in the State Government by securing a court order precluding them from arrest and prosecution.
The statement reads: “The Election Security Threat Analysis report is an affirmation of all our previous petitions, alarms, and warnings that Mr. Godwin Obaseki and his party, the PDP, are planning to mar the Sept. 19 Governorship election with large-scale violence to scare away voters because they are afraid of the people’s verdict after a four-year term of non-performance.
“We have filed video evidence of some of the violent attacks staged by known and identified thugs of Governor Godwin Obaseki and the world bore witnesses to others as they took place on live television. One of such is the attack on the Edo Assembly Complex, in which Governor Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Mr. Philip Shaibu, led thugs and other supporters to loot, vandalize, and remove the roof of the Complex in broad daylight.
“At least seven of those thugs were arrested on that day by the Police with dangerous firearms and it took sustained pressure from us for them to be charged to court because the Governor, not wanting to be exposed, tried to intimidate the Police into releasing the suspects.
“Perhaps the greatest reveal of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s direct involvement in the violent attacks and sponsorship of thugs in Edo is the court order he hurriedly obtained to shield his aides, Mr. Kabiru Adjoto and Mr. Osaigbovo Iyoha, from investigation after they were named by the arrested seven thugs as their direct contact and mobilizers in the Edo Government House.
“The whole world has listened to Governor Godwin Obaseki boast of the immunity he enjoys alongside his Deputy, and his irresponsible charge to his supporters and thugs to go on a rampage because ‘they are in government’.
“We have video evidence of the attacks on our supporters at Ososo, Apana, Ekpedo, Jattu, and other LGs by thugs transported in the Deputy Governor’s convoy. We equally raised alarm on the unfortunate shooting of an innocent bystander in Igueben LGA by thugs ferried into the state by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State to support the PDP’s plot to shoot its way to a contrived victory at the polls.
“Our appeal to the Police to ensure the investigation of all our petitions, beginning with the seven arrested with firearms, so the truth of Governor Obaseki’s sponsorship of violence through criminal means can be established and made known to the public.”