The National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, accused the Nigerian police of helping criminals provoke chaos in the state, saying that he was ashamed of what happened between Thursday and Friday.
He accused the Edo state government of sponsoring criminals to cause problems by blocking highways and burning tires, and added that the plan was to blame him in the event of a victim.
Oshiomhole, who addressed journalists at his house shortly after the Ize-Iyamu house rally, noted that, knowing well the hidden motives of the state government, he decided not to attend the event held at the home of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s house but supported the mega rally.
“As national chairman, I have to pay the price by abstaining from going there so that I deny the Inspector General of Police and the Edo State Command any excuse to go and kill people and blame it on me. We will not go to their level; blood for blood is not our belief.
“So, once our members are united, I am comfortable, but we will sustain the path of peace and that was the only reason I opted not to attend the mega rally. They have already planted a story today from the government house that I am under house arrest.
“The shame, however, is that those who have the responsibility to provide security decided to create security challenges.
“Look at what happened at the Airport road on Thursday for instance. Just because I was coming to the state, the state government sponsored thugs to barricade the roads, burnt tyres. How do you want the owner of that Audi car that was burnt to feel? This is a voter that has power to vote against us tomorrow and not a politician, so why burning his car?”
“Thugs were burning tyres on the road and security men were there looking at them. I personally wrote a letter, signed it and handed it over to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), notifying him of this rally, only for me to hear that this same IGP has cancelled the rally. I didn’t use PA, I didn’t use SA just to avoid communication gap, so I will want to know from the IGP and the Edo State Command what went wrong.”
The former governor of the state posited that if at all there are differences among party members, the best way to iron such out is to have a round table discussion and not the ways things are being done, stressing that such method have been applied but the state government has refused such ‘all-inclusive meetings.’
He said, “My position is that the way to iron differences is to sit down with various sides of opinion within the party; listen to those who have complaints and weigh the ones that are valid; share with them how you will address them, the ones that are not valid, then explain why they are not. This is what we have been working on but the governor has consistently refused to attend an all-inclusive meeting.”
Comr Oshiomhole, however, expressed satisfaction that the party held a peaceful rally despite the security challenges, stressing that his concern is to make sure ‘the house of the APC is in order.’
“We are happy that in spite of everything, APC, had a successful rally that was peaceful and it achieved its purpose. As I stand here now, I am taller now than I was just yesterday because we have harvested to our party people who were part of the foundation of APC, those who participated in the negotiations for the merger, not only have they returned home, they have also used their connection in the other party they were to move people to join us”, he said.
Earlier at the rally ground, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu had declared that he is not in the APC to cause more division or chaos, but to work on the party’s unity and to add value.
While thanking all that attended the rally, he expressed dismay that the state government could threaten to revoke his Certificate of Occupancy for organising a rally inside his compound.