- Benin chiefs who endorsed Ize-Iyamu are card-carrying members of PDP, says Obazulu of Benin
Tobi Soniyi in Abuja and Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has warned Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his counterpart in Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, against the use of violence in Edo State gubernatorial election slated for September 28.
Speaking with State House Correspondents in Abuja monday, Oshiomhole said Rivers and Delta States had history of violence and deaths during every election.
He said the people of Edo State would resist any attempt to cause trouble in the election, which he said would be won by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Godwin Obaseki.
The election which was initially fixed for September 10 was shifted to September 28 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) following advice from security threat agencies on security during the election.
He said: “In Rivers State in particular, they almost used blood instead of ink pad on election day but in Edo State we have had to run credible election based on one man, one vote and they exported people to Edo State some of them have been arrested, some of them have been charged to court and they will be prosecuted.
“But my appeal to them is that they should be ashamed because we are all Chief Security Officers of our states, if you are having the level of deaths and killings in Rivers State it and it is not bordering him and he wants to export that blood letting tactics to Edo State, our people will resist.”
“I also want to tell him that people who have exaggerated views of what they represent. A fish or a shark may appear powerful because it is inside the creek but when you move it to dry soil even babies can feast on it. So Edo Stateis not like the creek that you have in Rivers State.
“I want to plead with him, if he wants to send anyone, he should send his children, his own blood children so that they can bear the full consequences of their father’s message. He has no right to pay token to other people’s children to go and die in Edo State because our people are rugged and dogged.
“We are not in the creeks, if they move those guys who can dive into the water and do magic to the dry soil of Edo State they will learn the hard way what it takes to walk through the desert. We want to fight with PVC only, they must not import killers, if they do, they must bear full responsibility.”
Meanwhile, Obazulu of Benin Kingdom and Edo State Secretary of the APC, Chief Osaro, Idah have described as untrue the reported endorsement of the governorship candidate of PDP, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, describing it as an attempt to bring the palace of the Oba of Benin into disrepute.
He said the two chiefs who held a press conference endorsing Ize-Iyamu, Chief Amos Osunbor and the Odobaiwu of Benin, are both PDP leaders in the state and not spokesmen for the council of chiefs in Benin, adding that it was a shame for them not to identify themselves as PDP members and card carrying members of the party.
Idah, who spoke with journalists in a chart in Benin City, yesterday said: “Again, the so-called adoption of Ize-Iyamu by the Eghaevbo-Ore palace chiefs is for me a declaration of a body of friends. The Eghaevbo-Ore palace group is one of the many arms of the palace. This group is headed by the Iyase of Benin followed by the Esogban of Benin and for anyone to make pronouncement on behalf of this group without the Iyase or Esogban is not only fraudulent but reckless.
“Rightly, they should have addressed themselves as friends of Esama of Benin in his residence which they have right to do. They are many APC members even within their ranks who they cannot drag into their membership coven in the PDP. It is nefarious for anyone to make claims on behalf of any society of the palace when they were no prior discussions or agreements within the rank of chiefs. We know those chiefs who are quasi-subject of the Esama and the man in his generous nature look after their personal welfare.
“So one will not quarrel with them if they do his biddings. But any attempt to drag the palace into politics is taking the joke too far. The public should please note that this group are Esama’s personal friends. At no time did palace chiefs meet to discuss which party or candidate to adopt because the palace of his Majesty frowns at partisanship. Even the so-called Igieohen, they claim was with them are unknown to me.
“I am in a better position to know who the Igiehons in Benin are because I am the Obazulu of Benin Kingdom, with that rank I am an inner palace chief that deals with the Igiehens. So they are not in good position to know who the Igiehons are even as chiefs,” he stated.