Though the battle line had been drawn long ago, the war over the Governorship position of Edo State seems to have assumed a new dimension. Apart from those on the political field, Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomole now has opponents battling him via the internet using different social media as platforms.
After the saga of the photograph which allegedly showed Governor Oshiomole having sex which many have openly described as “photoshopped” was leaked to the internet, a new battle has begun on Twitter, a social network.
An account named opened with the name “Edo Renaissance” seems ready to give the Edo State Governor a fierce battle. Street Journal’s investigations revealed that the account was opened on Twitter on May 12, 2012 and all the tweets that have gone from the account have one thing or the other about Governor Oshiomole. On Tuesday, Edo Renaissance tweeted “who’s hitting (sic) up the polity in Edo?” That was followed on Wednesday a tweet that “as elections draw near various issues are springing up in Edo State”. The person(s) behind the twitter handle then started a series of tweets with the hash tag “#askOshiomole”. Tweets in the series include “#askOshiomole how Chima Ubani died while travelling in Oshiomole’s official car in 2005, #askOshiomole how Mr. Greg Aruna and his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Chris Nwachukwu died in a mysterious automobile accident, #askOshiomole how a group of girls returning from a party at his home in Hon. Philip Shaibu’s official Avensis car died, #askOshiomole if he was drunk and driving himself on 28th April, 2012, #askOshiomole if he is building a N 10 b mansion at his village, askOshiomole about the security situation in Edo State before one of his aides was killed, #askOshiomole there is something funny about the guy. Everyone around him just dies”.
Being sure that the sincerity of the twitter handle and that of its operator would likely be questioned, another tweet follwed in which it was claimed that “this is not a fight against opposition. This is a fight for the people of Edo State”. O course within a short time, reactions poured in, for instance, someone tweeted that “the Edo Renaissance group is a bunch of PDP underdogs”. Edo Renaissance however replied that “you think this is about PDP or ACN? This is about the people of Edo, this is about vigilance!” That was followed by yet another tweet, “this is not about a party. Governance is a collective responsibility”.
When someone raised the issue of trying to fool people through the social network, Edo Renaissance replied “No 1 is trying to fool you sir. These are questions we think the Gov. should answer”.
Before the Twitter war, accusations and counter accusations flew around Edo State when a lorry rammed into vehicles in the Governor’s convoy on his way from a rally weeks ago, killing three journalists. While Governor Oshiomole insisted that the accident was a ploy by mischief makers to terminate his life, the opposition responded swiftly by saying the Governor breached protocol by driving himself.
While the accident was still the major topic for discussion in most parts of the state, Olaitan Oyerinde, Governor Oshiomole’s Principal Secretary and very close aide was gunned down. Again, accusing fingers were pointed. The Governor claimed he suspected an old PDP bigwig who is over 80 years old was the mastermind. This time, the PDP’s reaction came from the national arm as the party’s National Publicity Secretary responded in a statement that rather than pointing accusing fingers, Governor Oshiomole should look inwards. The PDP publicity secretary opined that the Action Congress of Nigeria might have murdered Oyerinde in order to win sympathy ahead of the elections.
While the smear campaigns continue, some political observers have pointed out that more fireworks may still be seen before the governorship elections scheduled for July 14 in Edo State.