Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigeria’s ruling party, has expressed disappointment in the role allegedly played by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in preventing him from attending a rally on Friday.
Naija News reports that the APC National Chairman said the police looked on as thugs gained access to the Benin Airport with the aim of stopping him from arriving Benin City to grace a rally of the APC in Edo State, southern Nigeria.
Oshiomhole, a former governor of Edo State did not attend the rally eventually, saying he opted out because of his quest for peace.
While several media outlets had reported that Oshiomhole was placed under a house arrest, he denied being subjected to anything of such.
The former Edo State Governor also accused the Police of not providing security for him.
His words: “The leadership quality of a man is tested under excessive provocation. If it was my old self, I will not only go there but I will make speech that by now the battle line is drawn. As National Chairman, I had to pay the price by abstaining from going there so that I deny the IG and Edo Police Command to go and kill people and blame it on me.
“I am embarrassed that the IGP will write me a letter informing me on the strength of my application which I informed him of our intention to do a rally. We informed police not for license so that they can earn their salary. It is not for them to grant permission. I thought as National Chairman, I should be formal. I delivered the letter myself so that it can be more personal.
“He convey to me that he has directed the police to provide full security so that the exercise can have full security. The IG knows the political value of Pastor Ize-Iyamu joining us. What I am not able to understand is how the same IG could be alleged to send a letter to Philip Shaibu that the rally will not hold. The party is not run by the government, it is run by the party. The business of people joining us is the responsibility of the state chapter who invited me to join them to receive Pastor Ize-Iyamu.
“I am from here and I have worked with Pastor for which I am proud. It is a shame on Edo Police Command that people in broad daylight thought they can intimidate me from arriving Benin.
“The police supervised and superintendent over this violence even as the IG has given me a letter. As at that time no letter has been issued. For police to claim they are unable to secure the Airport road, as a reporter, I asked you to explain what Edo people went through yesterday. Bénin was locked down just to oblige the Deputy Governor or the government of Edo State.”
The APC National Chairman said the party will still win elections in the future and blamed Governor Godwin Obaseki for not staking a strong claim to the desires of the people.
“Our confidence about winning the next election is better assured than yesterday. Let me send a message to Philip. This is not student unionism. Violence will not take him anywhere. It can only compound his problem. Everybody is aware these thugs were organised with the approval of Edo State Police Command. That guy whose car was burnt. Do you think he will vote for the APC.
“My position is the way to iron out differences is to seat down with various shades of opinion. Listen to the complains, the ones that valid share with them how you will address them. This we have been working on. The Governor has refused to attend an all inclusive meeting. He prefers to handpick people. Obaseki told Eghe Ogbemudia to abuse party leaders and the girl said no. She said she could help to reconcile them. The governor said either the lady abused the party leaders and eight hours later, the woman was suspended. That is how they suspended four council chairmen.
“Four Governors agreed to join the all-inclusive meeting because that is the way to go but the governor said he is not ready for peace. He should not be worrying about ticket. He should be worried about proper election. Our party doesn’t believe in rigging. We have entrenched the culture of one man one vote. The name of the game is persuasion. He must persuade because on that hday everyone is equal. The Chief executor of violence is Shaibu. He doesn’t understand he is doing damage to his principal. The principal is not able to see their own frustration,” he added.