Road Transport workers, hoodlums, thugs, banned community leaders also known as Okaigeles and government-sponsored Civil Society Organisations were among those reported to have been contracted by the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to commence protest against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) commencing from tomorrow in Benin City.
Although a statement emanating from Government House says the Governor has no hand in the planned protest but a source told our reporter how the Governor held a marathon meeting with “Okaigeles” in Government House in preparation for the protest.
It was learnt that the purpose of the protest was to paint INEC in bad light for declaring the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and now President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu winner of the 2023 elections – this protest is scheduled to last till the next election – State House of Assembly, so as to also blackmail the ruling party.
A faction of the PDP loyal to the Governor is expected to join the protest it was learnt. Besides, the source said, “Mr. Governor’s interest now is how to win the State House of Assembly election so as to avoid any form of opposition against his government”. He was said to have heavily sponsored PDP members who lost their party’s ticket to contest under the platform of the Labour Party across the state.
The Governor who was reportedly desperate after he was badly beaten during the last Saturday Presidential and National Assembly election, lost his polling unit, ward, local government and senatorial district elections may have found another face-saving strategy.
Among other strategies as we approach the elections, Governor Obaseki is planning to pay local government pensioners and also embark on food palliatives.
In his reaction, a Chieftain of the APC, Mr. John Mayaki said, “we have it on good authority that the PDP-led government in Edo State have engineered a protest that is billed to take place tomorrow. Some persons who claim to be civil society organisations have been hired by the state government to organise a protest to blackmail the INEC and the APC and paint them in bad light.
“It is so unfortunate how Governor Godwin Obaseki can descend so low. While his presidential candidate is considering challenging the result of the election in Court, the Governor prefers civil unrest. There’s no level of blackmail can save the Governor from defeat in the coming election. His recent face-saving measures and desperation won’t change the defeat stirring him on the face.
“I call on the people of Edo state to ignore the protesters – their mission and sponsors lack credibility and should be seen as efforts of a dying political horse. The recent election has shown that the Governor has lost his value and political relevance and he’s in a hurry to redeem his battered political image”.