The All Progressives Congress (APC), on Monday, raised the alarm over alleged appointment of thugs as Special Assistants (SAs) and Senior Special Assistants (SSAs) by Governor Godwin Obaseki into his government to use them to unleash violence during the election.
Addressing journalists in Benin City, State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Chris Azebamwan, said the Peoples Democratic Party, now represented by Governor Obaseki are beginning to go beyond acceptable means and measures to abuse state powers.
“The people raised the first alarm months ago when the outgoing Governor, nearing the termination of his infamous tenure, began to dole out SA and SSA appointments in numbers never seen before. Independent verifications and revelations from the divided party that the governor joined where majority of members are still smarting from his illegal imposition, have revealed that the most recent appointments which were furtively handed out, were given to cultists of notorious history and origin.
“To achieve maximum results, Governor Godwin Obaseki has ensured there is a spirit of competition ignited in these confraternity groups. Obaseki draws from this deep well of violence and brutality in these groups, hoping to employ their brutish and bestial tendencies and unleash it on his opponents and dissenters in the coming days before, during, and after an election he is certain to lose because the people have rejected him.
“Edo State already has cause for worry, a valid reason to be afraid now, and not even tomorrow. This is because the violence and chaos have already begun. These cult groups, in a bid to show superiority and prove their mettle, have gone into unrestrained acquisition of weapons and initiation of new members. As it is, we are not sure that in the next two weeks, there will be an Edo youth who is not coerced into this evil association.”
Azebamwan, however stated that the APC is certain that the people of the state know the right person and the right political party to thumb their electoral ink for, saying “but we like to apply caution to the certainty of our wisdom.
“For this, we wish to announce to all Edo people, and to all the people of this country who loves peace and progress, the atrocious activities ongoing in our State. The day to boot Obaseki and his mindless partying out of Osadebey Avenue is already here, but under the light of new evidences, that short time may indeed be too long for the assurance of the security of all of us.”
He added: ”We have seen the intolerant and undemocratic soul of the PDP and Obaseki. It manifested in their unthinking destruction of our party billboards, and this breathless propaganda aimed at throwing mud on our deeply thought out manifesto.”
Reacting to the allegations, Edo State Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chris Nehikhare, said it was rather the APC that harbours thugs.
“It is common knowledge that the APC is the party that is populated by known thugs and brigands in the many factions that exist within it”, he said.
”When will APC stop making frivolous and unsubstantiated allegations against the PDP and the state government ? Today, it’s about the governor performing his duty of appointing his aides!
“We really do not want to respond to the infantile tantrum of APC as it is now becoming obvious to the good people of Edo State, especially the voting public that APC has finally lost the plot and is grabbing at straws to shield its obvious incompetence. Not just the governorship election but their marble! Or how else does one respond to statement laced with lies, childish innuendos, immature reasoning and thoughts. No wonder the party had been trending on monumental failures.
“To reconcile APC thinking that Edo State Government is giving out appointments to thugs and cultists to disrupt the elections when Edo people now call and hail the governor as the Thug and Godfather Slayer, is an obvious display of its desperation to try to bully the good people of our State.
“It is common knowledge that the APC is the party that is populated by known thugs and brigands in the many factions that exist within it.
“Governor Obaseki’s fight from the day he took over power was the conscious demobilization of thugs, cultists and their sponsors. This led to the protracted battle of wits that birthed the sacking of their national chairman, fragmentation of the party into small bits and the governor leaving the prostrate party to the comfort of The Umbrella.”