Echoes from the political crisis that had turned the peaceful Okpella community to a jungle zone on the September 8, may have subsided but the vituperation and verbal jabs from both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is yet to abate.
The crisis which broke out on the day the intrigues of whether the election will hold or not was playing out has created deep seated animosity in the community, between political interests.
Shedding light on the immediate and remote causes of the crises, Mr Abu Abduganiyu, the PDP Chairman in Etsako East Local Govt Area said, the APC members were the aggressors, knowing that, the election was a “won and lost” contest in the state.
“They knew that, Gov. Oshioomohle did not do anything for the people of Etsako East Local Government, and the people were going to vote against the party, they decided to employ violence to intimidate the PDP members. Because they are the ruling party, they have the police, army and other state apparatus.
On his part, Mr Lukeman Akemokue, one of the leaders of APC in the local government area said, the PDP members were the aggressors, knowiing that they were heading for a colossal defeat.
But Mr Abdulganiyu justifies his claims by citing the example of September 8 blockade, where the PDP’s two thousand man march was waylaid on the way from Imie Kure by the APC thugs purportedly led Afebu Musa.
The original intention of the ambush according to Abduganiyu was to cause cirisis that would lead to the arrest of PDP top supporters and by the time they are charged before magistrate in Benin, it would decline jurisdiction. This would prompt the accused to be remanded in prison until the election was concluded.
As the verbal exchange continues, one thing that is clear, is that the parties are desirous of lasting peace in the community.
According to Mrs Abduganiyu and Akemukue, “the natural bond of brotherhood, lineage, inlawship and friendship between Okpella people predates this artificial invention called political parties.
They acknowledging that, election was just an event that would come and go, but our Okpellaness has, is and shall always remain.