S’South govs imported 8,000 militants for poll – Oshiomhole

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Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole

Alexander Okere, Benin

Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has raised
an alarm that some governors in the South-South
have allegedly perfected plans to rig the September
28 governorship election in the state.

Oshiomhole, who spoke when he received the
Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, at
the Government House on Friday, explained that
part of the plan was the importation of about 8,000
militants from some South-South states and that
they had been registered in Edo for the poll.
He explained that the militants were imported when
they could not find local thugs in the state, adding
that he had earlier raised the alarm on the eve of
the last Continuous Voters’ Registration exercise.

Oshiomhole explained, “Our opponents who were
unable to find local thugs to help them perpetrate
violence, which they did between 1999 and 2007,
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.
“In line with my tradition, I have always tried to
speak out on any matter that I am worried about. I
first raised this alarm on the eve of INEC
Continuing Voters’ Registration exercise, an
exercise that has been designed to register those
who have attained the age of 18 between the last
registration and the current one.
“But these criminals, who are determined to
perpetrate violence and deny us the beauty of a
peaceful election, unable to find local participants,
chose to import these militants with the support of
two or so of my brothers. When I say brothers, I
mean brother governors. It does not matter if I
disagree with them. They are my brothers.”
“Having done that, we are clear that there are a lot
of people, up to 8,000 of them, who are non-
residents 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.”
But the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic
Party described the governor’s allegation as not
only false but an indictment on the security
agencies.
The state chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, in
a telephone conversation with our correspondent,
said, “It is unfortunate that we have an outgoing
governor of the state who has decided to state a
lie just to achieve his political purpose. We know
very well that what the governor was telling the IG
is not true.
“For me, he was indicting the security agencies
right in front of the IG because if you can bring in
8,000 people from outside Edo State and they all
found their way into Edo State without the security
agencies watching their movement, it means that
nobody is safe in Edo State and it is a big
indictment on the security agencies.”
On the allegation that the Rivers and Delta
governors were having interfering with the electoral
process, including the alleged donation of N2bn to
the party, Orbih said, “How? Are they part of INEC?
He has even gone to the extent of accusing them
of contributing N2bn to the election.
“For those who are from Edo State, it is no longer
surprising when they see Oshiomhole talk,
especially when he lies. He tells lies at will and
nobody takes his lies seriously; two billion (naira)
is no two million (naira).”
He continued, “He should substantiate whatever
allegation he is making with facts and figures. I
would like to see a situation where Oshiomhole
says somebody contributed N2bn and he brings
out a bank statement to prove it.
“Each time I accuse Oshiomhole of stealing money
from the state, I bring out vouchers to support my
claim. I challenge him to bring evidence to show
that anybody contributed even N1m from the two
states he is talking about.”

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