Tony Osauzo, Benin
Ahead of the September 19 gubernatorial election in Edo State, the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised the alarm over the alleged appointment of thugs as Special Assistants (SAs) and Senior Special Assistants (SSAs) by governor Godwin Obaseki into his government, supposedly to used to unleash violence during the election.
Addressing journalists in Benin City yesterday, the Edo State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Chris Azebamwan, said:
‘Abusing state powers, and behaving in a manner already seen since his unfortunate emergence in 2016, Mr Godwin Obaseki has begun massive recruitment of thugs and criminals, but this time, officially into government. He disguises these appointments as legitimate, in the guise of Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants.
‘The people raised the first alarm months ago when the outgoing Governor, nearing the termination of his infamous tenure, began to dole out SA and SSA appointments in numbers never seen before. Independent verifications and revelations from the divided party that the Governor joined where the majority of members are still smarting from his illegal imposition have revealed that the most recent appointments which were furtively handed out, were given to cultists of notorious history and origin.
‘To achieve maximum results, Governor Godwin Obaseki has ensured there is a spirit of competition ignited in these confraternity groups. Obaseki draws from this deep well of violence and brutality in these groups, hoping to employ their brutish and bestial tendencies and unleash it on his opponents and dissenters in the coming days before, during, and after an election, he is certain to lose because the people have rejected him.
‘Edo State already has cause for worry, a valid reason to be afraid now, and not even tomorrow. This is because violence and chaos have already begun. These cult groups, in a bid to show superiority and prove their mettle, have gone into the unrestrained acquisition of weapons and initiation of new members. As it is, we are not sure that in the next two weeks, there will be an Edo youth who is not coerced into this evil association. No thanks to Obaseki, who in his desperation, has incentivized violence, brutality, providing funds and backing for crime, thievery, and thuggery with public funds,’ Azebamwan further alleged.
According to him, the cultists have resorted to shootings and killings either out of unresolved feuds or in the bid to test the potency of their local bulletproof charms in their initiation grounds, saying: ‘This is the madhouse and anarchy Godwin Obaseki has unleashed on our State. Shall we fold our hands and continue to watch these things go unchallenged?”
Azebamwan, however, expressed confidence the confidence of the APC, saying the party is certain that the people of the state know the right person and the right political party to thumb their electoral ink for, adding that ‘we like to apply caution to the certainty of our wisdom.
‘For this, we wish to announce to all Edo people, and to all the people of this country who loves peace and progress, the atrocious activities ongoing in our State. The day to boot Obaseki and his mindless partying out of Osadebey Avenue is already here’ but under the light of new evidence, that short time may indeed be too long for the assurance of the security of all of us.
’We have seen the intolerant and undemocratic soul of the PDP and Obaseki. It manifested in their unthinking destruction of our party billboards, and this breathless propaganda aimed at throwing mud on our deeply thought out manifesto.
’We have been under the wrong thinking that their wicked and tasteless activities are limited to us as their political opponent but from recent discoveries, we are sad to inform everyone that this government who failed to provide the 200,000 jobs he promised has now proceeded, in the twilight of his tenure, to dole out SA and SSA appointments to thugs he intends to use to unleash violence and mayhem on all of us,’ he APC said.
Reacting to the APC allegations, the Edo State Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chris Nehikhare, said in a press statement:
‘It is common knowledge that the APC is the party that is populated by known thugs and brigands in the many factions that exist within it,’ he said.
’When will APC stop making frivolous and unsubstantiated allegations against the PDP and the state government? Today, it’s about the governor performing his duty of appointing his aides!
‘We really do not want to respond to the infantile tantrum of APC as it is now becoming obvious to the good people of Edo State, especially the voting public that APC has finally lost the plot and is grabbing at straws to shield its obvious incompetence. Not just the governorship election but their marble! Or how else does one respond to statement laced with lies, childish innuendos, immature reasoning and thoughts? No wonder the party had been trending on monumental failures.
‘To reconcile APC thinking that Edo State Government is giving out appointments to thugs and cultists to disrupt the elections when Edo people now call and hail the governor as the Thug and Godfather Slayer is an obvious display of its desperation to try to bully the good people of our State.
‘It is common knowledge that the APC is the party that is populated by known thugs and brigands in the many factions that exist within it.
‘Governor Obaseki’s fight from the day he took over power was the conscious demobilization of thugs, cultist and their sponsors. This led to the protracted battle of wits that birthed the sacking of their national chairman, fragmentation of the party into small bits and the Governor leaving the prostrate party to the comfort of The Umbrella.
‘We understand the frustration involved in trying to put together a scattered broom but that is not an excuse to tell tall tales and fallacies!
‘The lady said her husband is bad. She called him all sorts of names to deride him. He left her and married a new wife. She has now gone berserk, filled with rage, jealousy and envy. A green demon showing its fangs wouldn’t you say?
‘This is the story of APC!’