Oshiomhole accuses PDP of planning to instigate violence using students
GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole has alleged that Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has perfected plans to instigate students of the University of Benin to embark on a violent rally in a continued opposition to the forced evacuation of some staff of the university in disputed property situated in GRA, Benin City.
The governor in a state-wide broadcast alleged that the planned protest is to use a section of students of the institution to foment trouble in the state and create chaos, which may lead to loss of lives of innocent people.
He alleged that the leadership of PDP in the state held a meeting in the house of one of the candidates of the party where they planned to recruit students and thugs and set ablaze petrol tankers in strategic parts of the state capital.
He also urged parents to prevail on their children in the school and other tertiary institutions in the state to avoid being used by politicians.
He said the state government was still open to dialogue with authorities of the University of Benin over the property of the state reclaimed from the university.
He said: “They have held series of meetings including the one they held in the house of a candidate of the opposition party in the state.”
But in a reaction to the allegations, state chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih accused the governor of standing “tradition on its head” with the broadcast.
“I watched with disgust Governor Oshiomhole’s wicked open accusation on the Edo PDP. This man will never cease to amaze Edo citizens by turning tradition on its head. It is shameful to say the least that a governor will use an auspicious moment of a state broadcast to dwell on accusations.
“Edo PDP has nothing to do with the satanic allegations. Oshiomhole’s action was motivated by the victory he claimed was secured in a court. The process for execution of judgment is clear as court judgments are supposed to be carried out by court bailiff.”
The governor said at the meeting which was held with a section of the student union government that huge sum of money was provided to the students to mobilise more people as the students resumed on January 17. The idea is that by Monday, they would mobilize enough students with these funds provided by the leadership of the opposition party in the state to cause mayhem in Benin City.
“Part of the plan is that these students working and providing cover for party thugs will hijack petrol tankers, block roads with them and they anticipate, rightly, that the security agencies would resist them. They planned to set these tankers ablaze and in the process create confusion and in their estimation, this could easily lead to loss of lives. And of course they believe, rightly, that once there is loss of lives the situation would escalate and they believe they could profit from such violence.
“I want to advise the students not to be used or be manipulated by frustrated politicians who have no political message even as electioneering is going on. Every student has a stake in the future of our country. Political contestations should be based on issues and ideas and not seeking to use innocent students to divert attention.
“So I want to appeal to you students to resist being used, and for those who have been compromised not to put their selfish interest over and above the collective welfare and indeed safety of thousands of innocent students of the University of Benin
“On the attempt to use petrol tankers and other forms of violence that are being planned with the opposition PDP, I urge them not to put their selfish interests over and above the security of innocent people.
“I want to reassure the University of Benin that Edo State Government appreciates the contributions of the university to the growth and development of the state. Indeed they are our partners in progress. As I always say, as a Government that is popularly elected accountable and responsive, we are always open to dialogue. And we remain open, even at this hour.”
Meanwhile, traditional rulers in Etsako land have thrown their weight behind the candidates of the All Progressive Congress in the 2015 general elections, saying their support is based on the need to continue the developmental train in the state.
The endorsement came yesterday when Oshiomhole visited the traditional rulers during his campaign tour of the area.
The party’s candidates are Messrs. Francis Alimikhena, Senate Edo North; Philip Shaibu, House of Representatives; Damian Lawani, Gani Audu, Yakubu Gowon and Kingsley Ughabi, House of Assembly candidates.
At the palace of the Okumagbe of Weppa Wanno in Etsako East Local Government Area, HRH, Dr. Egabor JP, Omoaze 1, said, “our community and indeed the entire kingdom is proud and have accepted your leadership which is development-oriented. I must thank you most sincerely for the autonomy granted to the College of Agriculture, Agenebode
“We cannot thank you enough. Again let this be on record that your tenure in the state has witnessed tremendous changes in education, road infrastructure and human empowerment.”
Chief Egabor added: “For this simple reason, we have no doubt in our mind that a vote for the APC is a vote for Comrade Oshiomhole. So we are going to support you and make sure that all your candidates emerge victorious in the coming election.
“Areas that we thought was impossible to access, you came and accessed them. Even what the Federal Government could not do, you did all of them and so let me assure you that we will give you our full support.”
At Ogbona in Etsako Central Local Government Area, The Ogieavianwu of Avianwu, HRH Jackson Etokhana said, “As you are here today in my kingdom, I want to assure you our comrade governor that Afemai has never disappointed and on this matter we will not disappoint you. You have proved to us that you are the governor of the people irrespective of political divide or ethnic/religious differences. You have worked across the length and breadth of the state and you have provided dividends of democracy to all parts of Edo State. So I believe that any candidate you present today will be our candidate and the candidate to reckon with.”
Chief Etokhana assured the various candidates for the Senate, House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly that Etsako people will not disappoint them, stressing that “when you get to your various offices, do not forget Etsako people as we want dividends of democracy to be delivered to us. That is the strength and power the Comrade Governor is enjoying today.”
Governor Adams Oshiomhole was also at the Palace of Ogieneni of Uzairue Kingdom, HRH Alhaji Kadiri Omoigbai where he presented APC candidates for the February elections.
Alhaji Kadiri thanked Oshiomhole for his benevolence not only to Etsako people but Edo State in general, saying, “your development in the area of road construction, education, human empowerment and healthcare delivery has no rival. You have done well and with you as governor, Etsako people do not have any problem as we will mobilize every youth, men and women in the kingdom for the support of the APC candidates in the elections.”
At the various palaces visited, Oshiomhole thanked the royal fathers for their support and presented the candidates for the various positions to the royal fathers.
According to him, “Election season is here and politicians are on the road, the old, the good, the bad and even the ugly, and candidates have emerged from primaries of the various political parties. In our own case, today, we have candidates that we would like to present to you. They are your children and your subjects and we found in them the qualities that we believe can represent not only the people in your kingdom but people across the length and breadth of Afemai land and Etsako East.”
While x-raying the integrity and credibility of the various candidates, Oshiomhole passionately urged for the support of the royal fathers, assuring them that candidates would not disappoint the people of Etsako land.