A coalition of Civil Society Organisations and Community based organizations, (CBO) groups in Edo state, Tuesday appealed on President Muhammadu Buhari to call former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and candidate of the party for the September 19 governorship election in the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to order over alleged inciting comments to stir violence.
Spokespersons for the groups stated this during the world press conference held in Benin the state capital.
They alleged that Pastor Ize-Iyamu held a clandestine meeting with group of political thugs in his private residence with a view to mobilizing them “to collectively move from polling units to polling unit and from one ward to another and local government to local government” in order to “obtain favourable results for him.”
Members of the CSOs said the secret meeting with the said Political thugs was allegedly for “a rigging operation code named “operation show your results.”
The CSOs and groups include Midwest Progressive Forum (MPF), Afemai Peace Initiative, Edo Youths United for Justice and Democracy (EYFD) and Niger Delta Professionals Alliance).
Spokesperson for the bodies and Coordinator of Midwest Midwest Progressive Forum (MPF) Comrade Andrew Adaze Emwanta alleged that “Oshiomhole is now a clear and present danger to peace in Edo state.”
But chairman of the Edo APC Media Campaign Council Mr. John Mayaki in reaction said the People’s Democratic Party, alongside its candidate, has continued the “shameful lamentation typical of their propagandist electoral campaign.”
He said, “In a campaign season that has seen the unpopular party fumbling and struggling to provide solid, issue-based campaign and a catalog of achievements, the PDP has resorted to baseless mudslinging, conspiracy twigging, and dishonorable falsehoods spewed to gain public pity. Unfortunately, while pity may temporarily attract emotional concern, it does not stand the fiery check of facts and logic.”
“Such has been the fate of their new pity-seeking propaganda, where Governor Godwin Obaseki, through a Coalition of Community Based Organisations (CBOs), accused Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of gathering political thugs and agberos with instructions to move from unit to unit, ward to ward, local government to local government, with a view of obtaining electoral results for a rigging operation code-named “Operation Show Your Result”, he said.
According to Enwanta, “For us in this coalition, these acts sponsored political violence are totally unacceptable. We already have a deadly pandemic that has taken the lives of thousands of Nigerians. As such, we will not allow this new virus of political violence to snatch the lives of innocent Nigerian citizens living in Edo state. There is also a vir video where Oshiomhole was seen inciting some Benin traditional rulers against the governor.”
Meanwhile, Mayaki stated that “extending the frontiers of this thoughtless propaganda, Obaseki equally alleged that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in a political rally held at Iyamho, incited the youths against Governor Obaseki, claiming that such incitement was made manifest when the governor and other PDP leaders were attacked outside the gate of Oba of Benin. To achieve its ultimate propagandist motive of attracting pity to their sickly and dying campaign, Obaseki and PDP called on President Muhammad Buhari to intervene.”
“But all those are faint attempts of a dying party to wave themselves into the recognition of the living. The inability to admit that his failure as a governor of 4 years has drawn the ire of the people against him reveals his unreadiness and his unfitness to be rewarded a second chance at leadership. Leadership consists of taking responsibilities, taking corrections, and displaying a willingness to right wrongs committed by the self and the followers. However, for Obaseki, leadership means prideful arrogation of the self above the natural tendencies of mistake and failure. As such, he fails to own up to the catastrophic disaster that his first term was, and then seeking for forgiveness and a new chance.”
“It is this failure and hubris that made him the victim of the people’s venomous anger, setting him face to face with a vocal expression of his rejection by the people. Now he wants to excuse it away with conspiratorial and propagandist lies.”
“Nothing is more politically horrific in a postmodern era of democratic political participation of all demographics, youth and elderly alike, than a politician who sees youth and their vociferous participation as thugs and mob violence.”
“When it is not revealing of an ignorant mind, it is representing tyrannical traces of a man performing a cruel despotic play in a democratic stage. To Obaseki, the youths should not involve in politics, and if they must, then they should constantly sing his praise or be met with his state-backed wrath. His call to the president is a vain attempt that wastes their own productive time and this is because the president know them for what they are: a bunch of unserious hypocrites.”
He explained that *Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s charge to the youths in the meeting Governor Godwin Obaseki and his PDP proxies are sadly twisting in their characteristic mendacity, was simply for them to return to the respective units where they are registered to vote and participate in the complete electoral process including door-to-door mobilization of other young persons to solicit votes and achieve victory as it is the practice in all democracies across the world.”
‘He said, Operation Show Your Result’ is a simple political theme for a grassroots mobilization effort no different from the ‘Don’t boo, vote’ message made popular by the Democrats in America to urge youth participation beyond the performative pre-election display of support on campaign grounds.”
“Unlike Governor Obaseki, Pastor Ize-Iyamu has a documented plan to create jobs for the youths, empower them, and rehabilitate those neglected by the Obaseki-administration for safe reintroduction and reintegration into the society for positive contribution. For this plan to be realized, he has to win. Hence his message to the youths, who evidently have skin in the election like all elections in the country, to return home and deliver results for the APC at the polls.”