Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has cried foul in the buildup to the September 28 gubernatorial polls, accusing his opponents of plotting to rig and cause mayhem.

Oshiomhole made the declaration when he received the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, at the Government House on Friday, stating that their strategy included the importation of about 8,000 militants from some South-South states that are registered for the poll.

“Our opponents who were unable to find local thugs to help them perpetrate violence, which they did between 1999 and 2007, 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,” Oshiomole cried.

Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu are the leading contenders
Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu are the leading contenders

“In line with my tradition, I have always tried to speak out on any matter that I am worried about. I first raised this alarm on the eve of INEC Continuing Voters’ Registration exercise, an exercise that has been designed to register those who have attained the age of 18 between the last registration and the current one.

“But these criminals, who are determined to perpetrate violence and deny us the beauty of a peaceful election, unable to find local participants, chose to import these militants with the support of two or so of my brothers.”

“Having done that, we are clear that there are a lot of people, up to 8,000 of them, who are non-residents in Edo State, who are not indigenes of Edo State, who are indigenes and residents of Delta and Rivers states and some other states in the South-South.”

Meanwhile, the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) described the governor’s allegation as not only false but an indictment on the security agencies.

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“It is unfortunate that we have an outgoing governor of the state who has decided to state a lie just to achieve his political purpose,” state PDP Chairman, Dan Orbih told Punch.

“For me, he was indicting the security agencies right in front of the IG because if you can bring in 8,000 people from outside Edo State and they all found their way into Edo State without the security agencies watching their movement, it means that nobody is safe in Edo State and it is a big indictment on the security agencies.”

Orbih also dismissed as untrue claims by Oshiomole that the Rivers and Delta governors were interfering with the electoral process, including the alleged donation of N2bn to the party.

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In a related development, Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has categorically denied the allegations of Governor Oshiomole.

“Governor Wike has no links with militants in the region and anywhere in the country,” Rivers Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dr Austin Tam-George, said in a statement Friday. He added that the governor enjoined Edo people to vote PDP in the polls.
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