The two leading political parties in the contest for the governorship election coming up on Saturday, September 19, 2020, in Edo State – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) – have resorted to making allegations against each other of invasion of the state by unknown faces brought in by the other.
First to come up with such allegation was the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) which in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Chris Nehikhare, raised the alarm “over suspicious movement of persons from Lagos and other parts of the country into the state.”
Going further, the PDP said: “We have just been alerted that ten hummer buses left Ojo Military Cantonment in Lagos for Auchi, Edo State this morning. This is one out of over ten such calls we have received in the last 48 hours.”
Nehikhare noted: “We are liaising with the relevant security agencies to ascertain the mission(s) of these persons flocking to the state and we advise members of the public to watch out for persons whose presence and activities in their neighborhood, are suspicious, and report same to the police and other law enforcement agencies.”
He urged the various security agencies in the country “to pay more than the usual attention to these movements in order to ensure that Edo voters are insulated from harm, before, during and after the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.”
In its own statement much later the All Progressives Congress (APC) cried out to the federal government of Nigeria and people of Edo State to rein in Governor Godwin Obaseki, who it has accused of fostering insecurity in Edo State.
The statement was released by the party’s Media Campaign Council, on Saturday, where it alleged that the governor has been accused of several security breaches in the state in the build-up to the September 19 elections in Edo State.
APC said, “We want Mr Obaseki to give Nigerians the assurance that Edo State will not degenerate into a full blown crisis-riddled polity by answering to the following reports that we have received concerning the elections. Youths in Edo have informed us of the mass concentration of arms currently stored all over the state for the elections. We also have reports of mass infiltration of thugs and PDP militants who have been lodged in hotels within the state and border towns. Fake personnel in security uniforms have also been spotted all over Edo State, some of them in bars and joints.”
Revealing more threats to the state security architecture, the APC pointed out, “30 feet fellows; we found out, have been allocated to work in strategic polling units and hijack election materials, while APC chieftains have been kidnapped or marked for abduction. False charges have been levelled against illegally arrested and detained APC chieftains and several SAs and SSAs have been armed for the election.”
Meanwhile, the party alleged that the governor runs a strike force called the WABIZGAN and that this force will be deployed to undermine the free and fair conduct of elections in Edo State, while the governor has already secured access to some of the voting materials.