By Adibe Emenyonu
The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have blamed each other over the seeming insecurity in the state, following the #EndSARS protests.
Candidate of the APC in the just conclude governorship election in the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in a statement yesterday in Benin City, chided Governor Godwin Obaseki for lack of empathy towards victims of incessant kidnappings and armed robberies, saying this attitude could further worsen the cynicism and distrust often expressed by citizens towards the government.
The statement which was endorsed by a chieftain of APC, Mr. John Mayaki, absorbed President Muhammadu Buhari of blame over the rising criminality in Edo State, saying the governor has no reason to remain as the Chief Security Officer of the state, if he needs President Buhari to visit and commiserate with the victims of kidnappings and armed robberies who have been abandoned in the chilling effects of the unwarranted attacks in various hospitals.
According to the statement, “leaders must learn to be disciplined and sympathetic to the helpless electorate whom they elected to rule over. Leadership comes with enormous responsibilities and any governor who could not discharge such duties has no reasons to remain in office. One would have expected the governor to either visit these victims and or issue a strongly worded statement condemning the several killings in the state but what did we see, lack of empathy and lack of concerns for the well-being of those who voted for him.
“Governor Obaseki swore to an oath of office…’that in all circumstances, I will do right to all manner of people.. and that I will devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of Nigeria’ and this simply means that if Obaseki cannot fulfil the responsibility that goes with that office for which he pockets security votes on a monthly basis, the honourable thing he should do is to leave office and go home.
“The governor was elected to solve the problem of the state including security of lives and property. The president lives in Abuja with a supporting and supervisory role to play but I insist that Governor Godwin Obaseki be held accountable for the worsening security situation in the state. To say we should hold President Buhari accountable for the security lapses in the state is to say there was no reason having a governor.”
In a counter however, the PDP berated Ize-Iyamu over what it termed as irresponsible statements regarding the security situation in the state, noting that he was speaking out of ignorance, inexperience and rage.
The Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chris Osa Nehikhare, in a statement, said that the comments by Ize-Iyamu betray his inexperience about governance, noting that security issues are delicate and not items with which to play to the gallery.
According to him, “The Governor Obaseki-led administration is confronting a security challenge that is ravaging the entire country and the governor has shown grace, commitment and tact in handling the peculiar situation we have in Edo State. There is no denying that the security situation is challenging, but the state government has committed material and human resources to tackle the situation headlong and we are seeing the results by the day.
“The efforts being made are strategic and are not things to put out in the public at every turn. There is a method to security communication and it is not a task to be driven by propaganda and unwarranted posturing. The governor is dealing with intelligence from a joint taskforce, which he continues to meet at regular intervals. Some of the intelligence gathered are being deployed in bursting criminal hideouts, apprehending criminals and safeguarding the people.”
Nehikhare said the comments from Ize-Iyamu and his team are not unexpected as it goes to show how inexperienced they are and why they would continue to be on the backfoot in terms of strategic planning and handling of delicate matter of public safety and security.