Tony Osauzo, Benin
Edo APC governorship candidate Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu condemned on Saturday allegations by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki, that the party is responsible for the shooting at Apana community in Etsako West Local Government Area of the State.
Condemning the attack on the community while addressing reporters, Pastor Ize-Iyamu stated that the APC has been holding all its campaigns with full active presence of security personnel and as such could not have been involved in such acts.
‘They have been addressing the press alleging that the APC is formenting trouble and causing violence. We want to dissociate the APC from these unfounded claims as we have no hand in the violent destruction of billboards, though have the video and picture footages capturing the atrocities of the PDP thugs.
‘They destroyed our party’s billboards and opened fire on residents with AK-47, right at the presence of the Nigeria Police and started shooting not only on the air but also targeting houses which led to so many injuries and subsequent hospitalization of victims.
‘This was to the extent that one of the thugs tried to stop the video recording by a police officer which was unsuccessful, the policeman recordings captured how thugs pursued APC members and shoot at them.
‘There was no where in the video were APC attacked the PDP, rather it was thugs in their own midst who went on rampage against identified APC members in the neighborhood and began to harass them. We have decided to address the press, so that the truth will be made known to the public, we don’t believe in violence or have any intention of encouraging our members to be violent.
‘We want the campaign and election to be peaceful, especially as it’s clear to Edo people that the overwhelming majority are solidly with us, therefore, we challenge the PDP to show video clips of their rallies compared to ours, everywhere we have visited we have made efforts to reduce the crowd yet we witness the presence of mammoth crowd,’ he said.
The APC governorship candidate told journalists that residents of Apana had alerted the Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, in latter and corroborated his claims by also accusing the PDP and Governor Godwin Obaseki of conveying thugs to attack their community.
‘It is sad that the police stood helplessly while PDP thugs unleashed terror on the people because they are sympathetic to the APC, we are alerting the world about this very ugly incident and also reiterate our commitment to a very peaceful campaign, therefore our party should be counted out from any violent act.
‘Recently, Governor Obaseki led armed thugs to invade the independence of the legislative arm by destroying the house of assembly complex and disrupting vehicular and business activities at the King Square, we thank God during the process, the police apprehended some of the thugs with guns,’ he added.
Pastor Ize-Iymu appealed to the police to immediately swing into action by arresting the PDP thugs responsible for the shooting that happened at Apana Community, adding ‘It was obvious that the PDP are not ready for the election, yet they are the ones crying wolf when there are no wolves. If they apprehend these miscreants these violence will definitely stop,’ he said.