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Presidency dispels viral ‘arrest threat’ video

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Agency Reporter

The Presidency has dispelled a short video currently generating reactions and negative commentaries about the upcoming Edo State governorship election as ‘a patch work of mischief’

The said video featured the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, and former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, talking along a walkway in the State House.

Though the conversation was hardly audible and the complete extent not decipherable as it was just captured in passing, the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), as well as some media commentators, had since been drawing conclusions on what it was about.

However, reacting to the video and the hues and cries it had drawn the since Monday, the Presidency said the meaning of plans to arrest opposition figures in Edo State ahead of the election was mischievous and a misrepresentation of the intents and the persons captured in the video.

The Presidency, in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, Tuesday night, noted that the situation in Edo State had become chaotic, with the various actors in the upcoming election throwing grievous allegations of planned violence against each other, adding that the right thing to do would be to ensure peace and security in the circumstance.

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He, however, assured that President Muhammadu Buhari would not allow situations degenerate to a violent pass and would ensure those involved in breach of peace, political affiliation notwithstanding, would be made to face Justice.

“It is very important to strongly dispel misguided messaging amongst commentators, rights activists, advocates and journalists who have been reacting to a trending short video clip, alleging that the Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and Chief Adams Oshiomhole, the former All Progressives Congress, APC chairman had hatched a plan to arrest opposition individuals ahead of the September, election in Edo State.

“Firstly, it is important to state that the video was an ingenious patchwork of mischief, extracted from an innocent conversation focused on the emerging incidents of violence in the run up to the election.

“It is equally a fact that various political parties campaigning in Edo have levelled accusations of violence against one another. In such a heightened state of uncertainty, responsible leadership, must ensure that elections are conducted in a peaceful manner and if warranted, judicious use of Law enforcement to protect lives and properties of citizens is mobilized thus preventing criminal elements from subverting the democratic process. This message has consistently been repeated by Mr. President. He does not support violence of any sort and its propagators will be brought to justice. ELECTIONS MUST REFLECT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.

“Equally important, is that the persons in the video, Professor Gambari and Comrade Oshiomhole have a history and track record of working to protect the rights of Nigerians and humanity of all walks of life, especially the poor and marginalized; and as such will not be found encouraging any conduct that runs counter to these values”, the statement said.

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