The National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday lampooned Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State for claiming that the party registered 8,000 militants for the purpose of manipulating the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
The governor made the allegation when he received the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim in his office on Friday.
According to Oshiomhole, the PDP registered the militants as part of plans to “make peaceful election impossible”.
He further stated that “Our opponent, unable to find local thugs to help them perpetrate violence which they have done between 1999 and 2007 when I took over, 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.
“They are exporting militants to Edo State to register so that with the PVC in their hands, they will appear to have the lawful basis to be present at the designated polling units where they are expected to unleash violence on Election Day”.
The PDP described the governor’s allegation as wild and totally unreasonable.
The spokesman for the PDP caretaker committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, posed the following questions to Oshiomhole: Where and when did the PDP register the so-called militants?
“Were they registered by INEC? If not which organisation registered them? Were they registered as voters or as observers? For what purpose? And when did Oshiomhole suddenly discover the registration of the alleged militants?”
Adeyeye hoped that the governor’s allegation would not be used to alter the voters’ register.
He added: “Nigerians will recall that it was the same Oshiomhole, who after returning from an official visit with President Buhari to the United States of America, said that one American official told them while they were in the United States that over six billion dollars was found in the account of a former Nigerian Minister.
“Neither the President nor any other member of the official delegation said they heard any such statement.
“Mr Oshiomhole kept on repeating this lie until an American embassy officials had to publicly repudiate him”.
“Yet the Governor offered no public apology for misleading Nigerians”, Mr. Adeyeye said.
The national publicity secretary, however, warned against any attempt to tamper with the state’s voters register.
He also cautioned against unwarranted arrest, harassment and intimidation of PDP members in Edo.
“The security agencies must recognise that their responsibilities are to the entire people of Nigeria and not only to one political party”, he added.
In a related development, the Edo PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, described the allegation by Gov. Oshiomhole as baseless and an indictment of the security agencies for 8,000 persons to move into the state without detection.
He said, “I find it disgusting that the governor could indict security agencies in the manner he has just done. I mean it is serious indictment on the security agencies to say that 8000 militants could quietly walk into Edo from Port Harcourt and Delta State without being detected.
“I see this allegation as a pointer to the fact that the governor is an incurable liar. He has gone further to accuse governors of Rivers and Delta states of providing N2 billion donation. He is talking as if he is talking to a gathering of illiterates.
“N2 billion is not N2 million nor N20, 000. Nobody can carry N2 billion in a briefcase. The only way to do that is through electronic transfer. As far as I know, our accounts are there for everyone to see. We have not received any contribution of even N2 million from any governor.
“I challenge him to show evidence of his claims because each time I accuse him of fraud, I always come out with government vouchers signed by him to substantiate whatever I said”.