Edo PDP officials differ over planned council polls
Security agents parade kidnap suspects
EDO State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems divided over whether or not to participate in the planned April 20, 2013 local council election as announced by the State Independent Election Commission (EDSIEC).
Meanwhile, Governor Adams Oshiomhole has urged security operatives to employ professional tactics in their fight against crime, particularly kidnapping.
The PDP’s State Publicity Secretary, Matthew Uroghide, told The Guardian that the party would meet later this week to look at the legal issues raised by former members of EDSIEC who challenged the commission earlier constituted by Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
He said if the party was satisfied that all the legal issues raised by the former members were complied with, its members will contest.
But the party’s Director of Publicity and Strategy in the state, Mr. Okharedia Ihimekpen, yesterday called for boycott of the exercise.
Speaking in Benin, Ihimekpen described the election timetable as a “farce, tele-guided by government.” He also denied rumour of the party splitting into factions, saying Edo PDP remained united under its chairman, Chief Dan Orbih.
“My feeling about the purported election Oshiomhole wants to conduct is that it is a farce and smokescreen. My personal opinion is that all political parties should boycott the election because Oshiomhole has already written the result in the Government House.
“I am speaking because I am privy to some information in which he has said he’s going to have 18 over 18, so people should boycott the so-called charlatan election. To crown it all, the election itself has already failed because, by the timetable, by this week’s Tuesday, they were to meet with all political parties, but no political party was there. I urge all political parties to kindly boycott this election.”
But the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chairman in the state, Thomas Okosun, called on residents to ignore Ihimekpen’s call. “I do not know Ihimekpen being PDP spokesman, I know of Mathew Urhoghide. He is entitled to his opinion, but what he has said is far from the truth. If there is anybody that is an apostle of one-man one-vote, it is Governor Oshiomhole.
“If we believe in INEC to conduct election, then EDSIEC should do the same. Oshiomhole is not EDSIEC; it is independent, just like you cannot say President Jonathan is INEC. I call on those who believe in true democracy and free and fair election conduct to participate.”
Governor Oshiomhole spoke when the Department of State Security Services (DSSS) paraded seven suspected kidnappers.
He commended the SSS and the Nigerian Army for their “effective arrest and trial” as well as their professional commitment to investigating and arresting criminal elements in the state.
Two of the suspected kidnappers, Peter Omoregbe (31) and Oshaifi Karimu (38), who allegedly kidnapped the Auditor General of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Fred Omoaka, at Igbanke in Edo State were also paraded.
State Director of the SSS, Bello Bakori, who paraded them before Oshiomhole, confirmed that the suspects collected N10 million ransom from their victim, and N2.7 million was recovered from them swiftly after their arrest.