*Rights activist calls for order to avert bloodbath
Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city
The Edo State Commissioner of Police, DanMallam Muhammed, has restated the state Police Command’s position that there was no attack on the person or residence of former state Governor and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole.
This is coming as a human rights activist, Patrick Eholor, yesterday appealed to the state Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and Oshiomhole to shun acts likely to stir bloodbath in the state, and unite for peace, progress and development ahead of the 2020 governorship election in the state.
Meanwhile, the police commissioner, who said this in a chat with journalists yesterday, debunked allegations of an attack on the former governor, as he warned troublemakers to steer clear of the state.
He said the police beefed up security around the APC national chairman when he visited to the state, during which no attack was recorded.
“To the best of my knowledge, no one had access to the house of the APC national chairman. When he came into the state, we beefed up security around him, from his house to the Oba’s palace, from there to the airport before he left for Abuja.
“Let me use this medium to warn troublemakers that Edo State is very peaceful and calm. The state is the most peaceful in the South-south region of Nigeria. Therefore, we will do everything according to the law to ensure that the peace the people of the state enjoy is not truncated, and any attempt by anyone to cause trouble in the state would be resisted with maximum force,” Muhammed stated.
A Chieftain of the APC in the state, Charles Idahosa, described the allegations as efforts by unscrupulous elements to heat up the polity “so that evil elements can have their way.”
According to him, “The state Commissioner of Police has come out to state categorically that there was no such attack on Oshiomhole. The state government has also denied knowledge of such attack. But these people keep insisting that the former governor was attacked. They have brought in other actors to corroborate what never happened. That is the height of the spread of fake news.
“It is obvious that they are concocting these attacks to get public sympathy. They should quit the charade. We want to warn them not to heat up the polity. The Edo State Government is led by a man who puts a premium on law and order as can be seen in Obaseki’s numerous reforms as well as other public engagements.”
Another party chieftain, Dr. Peter Ologun, said it was regrettable that a national chairman of the ruling party would resort to spreading fake news to draw sympathy to himself.
Insisting that it was instructive that the police have come out to debunk the allegation, he said: “We are very certain that the state government has nothing to do with the supposed attack, which I am sure never happened.
“A man of Oshiomhole’s calibre shouldn’t be a party to such an act of calumny. Edo remains a peaceful state, as the Commissioner of Police has stated in his criticism of the allegations. So we caution against spreading of fake news and misinformation to cause unwarranted tension.”
Also, Mr. Oteghe Adams, another stalwart of the APC, said the matter is a case of crying wolf where there is none, urging political actors to be circumspect when they angle for political relevance.
Adams stated: “The purported attack never happened. If such thing had happened, there would at least be some video or pictorial evidence to show. The team spreading the fake news should know better that.”
The human rights activist, Eholor on his own, appealed to Obaseki and Oshiomhole to shun acts likely to stir bloodbath, asking them to unite for peace, progress and development ahead of the 2020 governorship election in the state.
He urged the duo to desist from engaging the youths as tools for their political gains, but to toe the path of peace, exemplary and purposeful leadership for the benefit of all.
Eholor stated this while reacting to the alleged attack on Oshiomhole by youths loyal to Obaseki in Benin-city.
He described as shameful last Saturday’s alleged attack targeted at the residence of Oshiomhole, which was allegedly followed by verbal war by both parties and near violence by supporters of the two sides over political differences between the APC national chairman and the state governor.