By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – THE crisis in Edo All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of this year’s governorship election escalated on Thursday when the state governor, Godwin Obaseki called on all relevant security agencies to place the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2016 and now a chieftain of the APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and other members of the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) under close surveillance in order to put an end to the sudden rise in the use of explosives to create a sense of insecurity in the state.
But the co-convener of EPM who is a former Attorney General of the state, Barr Henry Idahagbon described the position of the government as a mad decision coming from the table of the principal suspect in the escalated violence in the state.
On his part, Ize-Iyamu said the fact that the state government has kept mute since the attacks on peoples homes send a message especially when the people affected are those he has publicly threatened.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie said the security alert had to be sent because of the desperation of Ize-Iyamu and members of the EPM to throw the state into chaos to achieve their Machiavellian aims.
According to him, “With Ize-Iyamu and his colleagues in the EPM unhappy with the recent peace and reconciliation committee led by the distinguished statesman, Chief Bisi Akande, we gathered that they plan to orchestrate more mayhem to scuttle the APC peace process in Edo and possibly force President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in Edo State.
“This is most unacceptable and we are placing the relevant security agencies on notice that they should keep a close watch on Ize-Iyamu and other members of the EPM. The Nigerian Police Force, the Nigerian Army as well as antibomb squad and other relevant security operatives should monitor him and his acolytes closely.”
Bit Idahagbon told Vanguard last night that “We are ready to be placed on surveillance because we are not planning any evil but the governor and his men should be placed on surveillance too so that security agencies will actually know who is responsible for the violence in the state”
On his part Ize-Iyamu said “They should stop trying to divert issues. The governor is the Chief Security Officer, he collects security votes every month to bring peace. They are throwing bombs in your state you are not condemning, you are not going to the scene to inspect, you are completely non-challant about it and these people they are throwing bombs in their homes are people you have publicly declared that you will deal with, what do you want us to think? So it is absurd for you to say that it is the same people that are throwing bombs. Crusoe Osagie that is talking now has he gone to visit the place? A bomb will explode if you are really concerned about police investigating, will you not visit the scene? That tells a story so government should embrace peace and encourage everybody to live in peace and condemn violence”