Comrade Adams Oshiomhole
From Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
A ction Congress of Nigeria national leader and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday led other ACN leaders from across the country, including the governors of Ogun and Ekiti States, Chief Ibikunle Amosun and Dr. Kayode Fayemi, respectively, on a huge campaign rally for Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in Benin City. The rally, part of a campaign tour of Benin City mounted by Oshiomhole, the ACN candidate, to solicit votes ahead of the July 14 governorship election in the state, held at the Uwelu Spare Parts Market in Benin City. It also had in attendance the party’s national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and former Peoples Democratic Party governorship aspirant, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, who defected to ACN the day before.
The ACN rally came a day after the PDP national leader and the party’s former Board of Trustees chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, told supporters at the flag off of the PDP governorship campaign rally for Edo North senatorial district that the party was poised to win the July 14 governorship election. Anenih, who praised Edo people for what he called a new wave of acceptance and enthusiasm for PDP, said that party was prepared for a victorious outing.
But addressing a mammoth crowd of ACN supporters in Benin City on Saturday, Tinubu called on the electorate in Edo State to remain with Oshiomhole whom he described as the “Moses of our time.” He told them to defend their votes against any rigging plots during the July 14 election. “We will fight to defend our mandate for the progressive liberation of Edo people.
We have come to remind you of your responsibility because you are a marching army of freedom,” Tinubu said.
In apparent reference to the opposition PDP in the state, the ACN leader told the crowd, “They have been holding meetings on how to rig the elections and they are planning to use youth corps members who have already passed out. It is your responsibility to ask for the proper identification of the National Youth Service Corps deployed for the election. The worst and dangerous day of the election is at the polling booth where you must be vigilant.”
Amosun asked the people of Edo State to identify with the good works of their governor by giving him their votes for a second term, while Fayemi appealed to the people to be vigilant at the poll, saying vigilance is the price they must pay if they are to continue to enjoy the good life they have enjoyed in the last three years.
Ihonvbere, a former special adviser to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo on policy and strategy, said he came into ACN to be part of the historical development of Edo State under Oshiomhole.
In his speech, Oshiomhole pledged to resolve the seemingly intractable problem of flooding in Uwelu. “We are not promising; we are already working on the dredging of the 14-kilometre primary drains. We are dealing with the problem of flooding,” he said.
The governor accused the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolimenmen, an indigene of the state, of deceiving President Goodluck Jonathan and the federal executive council into awarding a fake N2.6 billion road contract in Uromi.
“I am inviting the president to come and flag off the construction of that road so he can see that the road does not exist. Our president has been misled by a Minister of Works who needs money to fund an election, but this time we will not keep quiet.
“They have been doing it for a long time. Last year, they also invited the vice president to commission a water contract, but when the people of Uromi shouted that the contract was fraudulent and that they only pumped water into the overhead tank, the vice president cancelled the commissioning.” Oshiomhole said.
He accused PDP in the state of buying voters’ cards ahead of the July 14 poll instead of campaigning.
Meanwhile, Anenih has said PDP was poised to win the July 14 governorship election. He said this on Friday in Igarra, headquarters of Akoko-Edo Local Government Area, during the flag off of the PDP governorship campaign rally for Edo North senatorial district. Anenih said PDP national leaders, including Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, and the national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, would be in the state later this month to lend their support to the governorship bid of the party’s candidate, General Charles Airhiavbere.
Among prominent PDP members in the state that attended the campaign flag off were presidential aide, Chief Mike Ogiahomhe, Mr. Ken Imansuagbon, and the party’s state chairman, Chief Dan Osi Orbih.