AHEAD of September 10 Edo State governorship election, political tension in the state is being heightened by allegation of destruction of campaign posters and billboards by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) against the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
A statement on Sunday, by the campaign organisation of the APC candidates, Godwin Obaseki, alleged that the PDP was mobilising thugs under the guise of protesting local government workers to commence the destruction of posters and bill boards of the APC candidate.
The statement, signed by the Director-General of the Godwin Obaseki campaign organisation, Osarodion Ogie, also said that many of the billboards and posters of Godwin Obaseki around Sapele Road and Ikpoba Hill were destroyed by the agents of the PDP between Friday night and Saturday morning.
Ogie said: “We are alerting security agents to watch out for these people because we are ready for a peaceful election. They intend to coerce us into violence, but we will not. Edo will be calm for this election, because we have no opposition.
“PDP leaders should be warned. They must stop destroying our posters for the interest of peace. They should know that nobody has monopoly of violence, but we will continue to remain calm, because victory is sure.”
The PDP has, however, washed itself clean of the APC’s allegation, pointing out the proliferation of the posters was working in its favour, while insisting that it was the APC that had started to intimidate its supporters and leaders.
A statement signed by the party’s Director of Publicity, Chris Nehikhare, accused the APC of using police to arrest some youths, who attended a rally organised by running mate to its governorship candidate, John Yakubu and orchestrating plans to arrest PDP leaders on the eve of the election, among other allegations.
He said: “PDP has no reason to destroy APC posters as the proliferation of the posters is another sign of government’s insensitivity to the feelings of Edo people, who have been denied salaries and allowances because government was preparing for an elections.
“In the light of the foregoing, Edo State chapter of the PDP wishes to reassure its members, supporters and the general public that we are committed to a peaceful election in Edo State, the same way we did last year, which gave us the victory in the presidential election.
“Our campaigns across the state have been very successful and our message of changing the ‘change’, youth empowerment, end to double taxation and lack of patronage of local SMEs has given the people hope.”
…LP launches governorship campaign in Benin
THE Labour Party (LP), on Sunday, in Benin, launched its campaign for the Edo September 10 governorship election.
Pastor Amos Areloegbe, the governorship candidate, who addressed supporters at Agbado Primary School, said the party would cater for the elderly.
According to him, “we will build homes to accommodate them as it is done in other climes of the world.
“This gesture will make life comfortable for them, rather than leaving them to their fate in their old age,’’ he promised.
Areloegbe also promised economic growth, youth empowerment and agricultural development, which he said would be achieved within a space of two years.
“If I cannot deliver on my promises to make life meaningful for the people of the state after two years as the governor of the state, you people have the power to vote me out,” he said.
His running mate, Mrs Jane Osagie, who also spoke, promised soft loans to women to enable them set up businesses of their choice if her party won the governorship election.
Osagie said attention would be given to ensuring the safety and sustainability of the environment.
Mr Kelly Ogbaluo, the state party chairman, said the party would guarantee economic growth if voted into power.
Ogbaluo also debunked the rumour that the party had collapsed its structure for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).