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PDP, APC clash over arming of thugs during election

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From Bisi Olaniyi, Southsouth Bureau Chief

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state clashed on Monday over the arming of thugs during last Saturday’s governorship election.

The APC, in an online statement by the Chairman of its Media Campaign Council John Mayaki, called for the withdrawal of arms and ammunition, urging the international community to prevail on concerned authorities to mop up all the illegal arms that were brought into the state for the purpose of the election.

It said: “The election is over, what has happened to the arms? We are worried in Edo State that the arms may have got into the wrong hands and there may be an increase in crime waves across the state. Already there was poor security in the state.

“We fear that kidnapping and armed robbery, among other criminal activities, will increase. We are also asking Edo governor and his deputy to release the APC members they kidnapped during the election. There is no gain in keeping them any longer.”

But the Edo Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), through its Publicity Secretary, Chris Nehikhare, who spoke for Obaseki, asked Mayaki and other members of APC to be good losers.

Nehikhare said: “All the flashpoints during the September 19 governorship election in Edo State involved APC and its thugs, but members of PDP adequately protected their votes, leading to the well-deserved victory by Governor Obaseki and his deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu.

“APC leaders should withdraw the guns and ammunition that they gave to their thugs, who are advised to make themselves available for training and empowerment programmes of Obaseki’s administration, in order to become useful members of the society, rather than later going into criminal activities with the arms and ammunition in their possession.”

PDP in Edo also urged APC members to join hands with Obaseki to move Edo forward, rather than attempting to pull down the government.

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