The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, and the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, Dan Orbih, have traded blames over alleged plot to stoke crisis in the state.
In a state-wide broadcast on Saturday, Mr. Oshiomhole accused the PDP of perfecting plans to hire students and thugs to hijack and burn down petrol tankers in strategic locations in Benin City, the state capital.
He said the plot is aimed at causing mayhem with the potential of destabilising the state.
The governor further alleged that the decision to foment trouble was taken at a meeting in the home of a PDP candidate in the state.
He did not, however, mention the name of the PDP candidate at whose home the plot was hatched.
He noted that the plot involved the burning down of petrol tankers in strategic locations within Benin City, the state capital.
Mr. Oshiomhole, therefore, urged parents to prevail on their children at the University of Benin and other tertiary institutions in the state, to desist from being used by politicians to cause trouble.
He said the government was still open to dialogue with authorities of the University of Benin over the 18 properties that were reclaimed from the institution.
“At that meeting which was held with a section of the students union government, huge sums of money was provided to the students to mobilize more people as the students resume on the 17th January,” Mr. Oshiomhole said.
“The idea is that by Monday, they will mobilize enough students with the funds provided by the leadership of the opposition party to cause mayhem in Benin City.
“Part of the plan is that these students working and providing cover for party thugs will hijack petrol tankers, block roads with them and they anticipate, rightly, that the security agencies would resist them.
“They plan to set these tankers ablaze and in the process create confusion and in their estimation, this could easily lead to loss of lives.
“And of course they believe, rightly, that once there is loss of lives the situation would escalate and they believe they could profit from such violence.”
Mr. Oshiomhole noted that the state government has no dispute with the student community.
He drew attention to various interventions made by his government to ensure the welfare of students across the state and warned them not to succumb to the antics of criminal politicians.
Mr. Oshiomhole continued, “On the attempt to use petrol tankers and other forms of violence that are being planned with the opposition PDP, I urge them not to put their selfish interests over and above the security of innocent people
“I have also asked the security agencies to do everything possible to maintain law and order. I cannot subordinate the interest of the people of Edo State to private individual interest no matter how highly placed.”
But the PDP Chairman, Dan Orbih, said it was disgusting to watch the governor openly making what he described as “wicked accusation” against his party.
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr. Orbih said Mr. Oshiomhole has a penchant for drama and also attacked the governor for using a state-wide broadcast to make unfounded allegations.
“All over the world, leaders use broadcast to update their people how they are using the mandate given to them and their developmental plans. Oshiomhole has desecrated the office of Edo State governor by gathering Edo people to listen to his allegations, Mr. Orbih said.
“After conquering the judiciary and legislative arms of government, it appears he is now interested in the responsibilities of police and the secret services. The good thing is that Edo people know Oshiomhole’s history when it comes to raising false alarms.”
The PDP chieftain said his party was not involved in any plot to cause mayhem in the state and described the governor’s claims as “satanic”.
“Rather than accept responsibility for his barbaric action, the governor has resorted to buck passing and shameless public vituperation on the PDP. Like we always say, Edo people are watching,” Mr. Orbih said.