From Bisi Olaniyi, Benin
Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC) has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu and Police Commissioner (CP) Babatunde Kokumo over the invasion by 50 policemen of Okpella in Etsako East Local Government.
The invasion was allegedly done on the orders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
APC alleged that the policemen were harboured at the home of a politician.
The party, yesterday in Benin, through the Chairman of its Media Campaign Council, Prince John Mayaki, noted that the development had caused apprehension at Okpella, with residents expressing worry about the planned intimidation, ahead of the September 19 governorship election.
It said: “Residents of adjoining communities have lamented the police officers’ night movements, characterised by indiscriminate shootings, shouts of obscenities and other bizarre acts of intimidation, which they claimed are aimed at causing fear ahead of the election.
“It is important to note that Okpella has recorded defection of supporters from the PDP to the APC in the past few weeks, as residents declare their intention to back Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the governorship candidate of the APC, because of the failure of the Governor Godwin Obaseki administration to fulfil its promises.
“Prominent among former members of the PDP, who are supporting Pastor Ize-Iyamu, is Prince Kassim Afegbua, a chieftain of the PDP and a popular political figure at Okpella.
“The dispatch of the police officers to Okpella has been interpreted as a desperate tactic by the government to scare voters.”
APC said its petitions to the IGP and CP would enable them probe the dispatch of the policemen to Okpella.
The party said: “It amounts to violation of the objective stance expected of security agencies, including officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), to embark on a secret mission to an area where the incumbent governor is not popular.
“We doubt that the police commissioner approved the disturbing operation of policemen at Okpella, which bodes ill for the peaceful conduct of the election in the community.”
Governor Obaseki’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, was contacted on the phone, but he did not react at press time.