APC, PDP clash in Edo over community project

Attempt by the lawmaker representing Ovia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Omosede Igbinedion,
to electrify some communities in parts of her constituency has set her on collision course with leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of the state.
It was gathered that Omosede had commenced the electrification of Uhen and some other communities in the local government after years of darkness but the APC leaders reportedly stopped the project, claiming that they had started it before the lawmaker.
The situation led to the arrest of 13 youths in the area, who were said to have clashed with some leaders of the APC in the area, even as two sides has continued to point accusing fingers at each other over the stoppage of the project.
Some days ago, elders and youths from Uhen community were said to have protested alleged stopping of the electricity project by APC leaders in the locality.

The 13 youths were arraigned at an Okada Magistrate Court, where a case of attempted murder was preferred against them.

The Magistrate declined jurisdiction on the matter and sent the case file to the Department of Public Prosecution for legal advice.

Omosede, a daughter of Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin, told journalists that she started the project with her personal funds to fulfill her electoral  promises to the people.

She accused a former Deputy Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Bright Osayande and the State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Priestly Ediagbonya, who hailed from the community as being responsible for the stoppage because of the forthcoming Edo State governorship election.

The lawmaker described the continued detention of the 13 protesting youths as illegal and rape of democracy.

She said, “Bright Osayande is a third term lawmaker and he failed to do the electricity project. During my electioneering campaign, I promised to providile electricity to the people. It was on that ground that I started the electrification project with my money.

“APC members came and said they want to put poles on where I had dug out to put poles. The community resisted them. They yold them that they failed to do the project for the past eight years. The community riot and Ediagbonya brought thugs to the place.

“It was after the altercation that Ediagbonya went to the police station and the police invited 13 of them who were just artisans. They went to the police station and were detained on charges of assault. We were surprised the State Commissioner for Justice changed the charge to attempted murder and they were arraigned and remanded to prison custody.”

Responding, Ediagbonya said it was the community elders that decided to contribute money to fix the electricity project after Omosede’s father, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion cut off electricity supply to the area in 2014.

Ediagbonya said they got approval from the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) after modalities were worked out on how to pay the N2.2m electricity bills owed by the community.

“We started the project first. Omosede does not have approval from the BEDC. We gathered money to buy some poles and some youths accosted us with guns. We had to turn back. They were arrested because they beat up some person.

“It was her father that cut us off from Okada electricity supply and so we decided to fix it ourselves. You know there is problem with the constituency projects in Abuja because of padding.”