The Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of gunrunning, alleging that the state deputy governor, Philip Shaibu is leading the operation particularly in Akoko-Edo local government area.
Raising the alarm, the APC Media Campaign Council named others that were allegedly involved in the plot to disrupt and muscle the vote in Akoko-Edo.
Citing “credible security intelligence,” the campaign alleged that guns had been supplied to the named persons for distribution to thugs already waiting to be brought in.
It added that the alleged PDP plot was to “attack polling units where the opposition is strong, destroy ward collation centres in wards where they are losing, and visit a final attack on the LGA collection centre, to ensure there are no results from Akoko-Edo, should they lose the election.”
But in a swift reaction, the special adviser on Media to the Deputy Governor, Benjamin Atu while dismissing the allegation said the deputy governor does not need to get involved in violence to win any election.
Shaibu’s aide said: “The Deputy Governor of Edo State ,Comrade Philip Shaibu was a member of Edo State House of Assembly for eight years he was never caught on arm dealing. He was an elected member of the National Assembly, he was never seen with gun”.
“He became Deputy Governor of Edo State he was never caught in arm dealing plot. Suddenly because he has left APC and joined the winning party, PDP, he has suddenly become a gun dealer. Don’t you think John Mayaki need to be checked?.
“They are plotting to use fear and violence to limit voting right of the citizenry. That’s why they are always raising gun alarm so that the public will be afraid to come out to vote. That’s their whole game plan. No element of truth in their allegations so no need to defend what does not exist.
Reacting to APC allegations, the state publicity secretary of PDP, Chris Nehikhare, yesterday, said the APC has ran out of narratives and now resort to what he described as ‘juvenile innuendos’.
“I will not dignify APC with a response. It is common knowledge that they have no chance of winning the election. Its common knowledge that their rigging plans has suffered a devastating set back as Aso Rock has told them that Edo People will determine their fate.
“Their much-taunted federal might is a mirage. Instead of Mayaki to be drafting a memorable concession speech, he is busy contriving rigging plans of PDP. His allegations are baseless and should be ignored”, he added.