The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hit out yesterday at Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State for claiming that it registered 8,000 militants for the purpose of manipulating the forthcoming governorship polls in the state.
The PDP described the governor’s allegation as wild and totally unreasonable.
Spokesman for the PDP, Prince Dayo Adeyeye in a statement in Abuja posed the following questions to Oshiomhole: Where and when did the PDP register the so-called militants?
“Were they registered by INEC? If not which organisation registered them? Were they registered as voters or as observers? For what purpose? And when did Oshiomhole suddenly discover the registration of the alleged militants?”
Adeyeye hoped that the governor’s allegation would not be used to alter the voters’ register.
He added: “Nigerians will recall that it was the same Oshiomhole, who after returning from an official visit with President Buhari to the United States of America, said that one American official told them while they were in the United States that over six billion dollars was found in the account of a former Nigerian Minister.
“Neither the President nor any other member of the official delegation said they heard any such statement.”
Oshiomhole had on Friday told Police Inspector General Ibrahim Idris who visited him that the PDP registered the militants as part of plans to “make peaceful election impossible” when the people of Edo go to the polls to elect their next governor in two weeks time.
He said: “Our opponent, unable to find local thugs to help them perpetrate violence which they have done between 1999 and 2007 when I took over, resorted to liaising with my brothers in the sub-region, Delta and Rivers, in particular, to export criminals and militants into Edo State in order to make peaceful election impossible.
“They are exporting militants to Edo State to register so that with the PVC in their hands, they will appear to have the lawful basis to be present at the designated polling units where they are expected to unleash violence on election day.
“When I raised this alarm, I should expect naturally criminals are not as courageous as they seem. They denied that there was any such plan, but happily our ever vigilant, peace-loving electorate were able to apprehend some of these people from other states that came into Edo State for the purpose of this exercise.
“At least, 13 of them were handed over to the police. The IG may wish to establish what has happened to those people who were handed over. So, we handed them over to the police in line with what we were expected to do as civilised people.
“Having done that, we are clear that there are a lot of people, up to 8000 of them who are non-resident in Edo State, who are not indigenes of Edo State, who are indigenes and residents of Delta and Rivers states and some other states in the South-South, some from Bayelsa State who have registered for the sole purpose not to swell the votes, but to be present in various locations on election day.
State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, in a telephone chat said the allegation was baseless and an indictment of the security agencies for 8000 persons to move into the state without detection.
On the N2bn allegedly donated to the PDP campaign by some state governments, Chief Orbih said the party was ready to open its books for scrutiny.
He said: “The N2bn allegation is the highest level of turning truth upside down. What the governor is doing is spontaneous reaction to the people’s rejection of his policies.” The Nation