Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Edo LGA Polls - Nigeria's Democracy Under Threat, PDP Raises Alarm

NATIONAL Leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Sunday, raised alarm that the nation's democracy was under serious threat, just as it condemned the just concluded local government election in Edo State.

According to PDP, since June 12, 1993, presidential election that was annulled, Nigeria as a country had never witnessed what the party alleged to be assault on the people as well as harassment and intimidation during the polls, especially in Esan North East local government, the place of the Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT, Chief Tony Anenih.

The PDP also said that Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State wanted to make himself the only emperor as well as the only leader, adding that power and leadership were ephemeral.

Addressing Journalists in Abuja, PDP national Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, who urged the military authorities to investigate the role of the Brigade commander in Benin in the use of the military against PDP members during the elections, however, vowed that the party would challenge the outcome of the election in court.

But in a swift reaction, Governor Adams Oshiomhole noted that some chieftains of PDP were suffering from what he termed political curses imposed on them by the good people of Edo State.

Oshiomhole, who spoke through his Special Adviser, Media, Kassim Afegbua said: "We are of the opinion that most PDP chieftains are suffering from political curses imposed on them by the good people of Edo State over the misrule of the party when they presided over the affairs of the state for ten years. The potency and efficacy of that curse is still in force, that is why they cannot win any election in the State.

"Even if they conduct elections in their bedrooms among family members, they will still lose because they have since become political turn coats with little or no electoral value. This is why you see members of the PDP in Edo State behave often times like gang of sinuous fawns all over the place, gallivanting like unshepherded flock just to remain visible.

"The LGA election complied substantially with the provisions of the electoral act of the State and to that extent, we are satisfied with the outcome so far. Rather than go on the field to campaign for elections they were busy chasing after the age or no age of the Comrade Governor, like members of Jacobian scandal club of medieval age. Why won't they complain when they did not campaign?

"They must give a reason to cover up their indolence, lazying about with tired adults struggling to remain relevant in the system. This is the age of ACN and the PDP should learn how to play the new opposition role which civilization has thrust upon them. Edo State has been liberated from the buccaneering attitude of a Party as rudderless as the PDP."

Speaking further, Metuh who also accused members of the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission, EDOSIEC, under the chairmanship of Solomon as card carrying members of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, stressed that the Commission started an onslaught against the PDP by imposing illegal fees of N100,000 and N50,000 for collection of forms on the chairmanship and councillorship candidates respectively designed to frustrate members of PDP from contesting.

But when asked to comment on a similar situation in the past where similar charges were made during former Governor Lucky Igbinedion, Metuh simply responded saying, "Oshiomhole and Lucky Igbinedion are birds of a feather."

Metuh said: "As we speak, the survival of our democracy is under very serious threat. Unpatriotic and undemocratic elements have laid siege on our nation's democracy and Nigerians are now living in serious fear and uncertainty. Since the annulment of June 12 1993, presidential elections, we have never in the political history of Nigeria witnessed any such assault on the people and democracy like what is going on in Edo State today. As I address you, the people of Edo State are being subjected to the worst form of tyranny."

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