By Clifford Ndujihe
FORMER Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has denied threatening violence, ahead of the governorship election in the state, as wrongly attributed to him on Tuesday.
He clarified that it was Governor Godwin Obaseki who threatened violence.
On Sunday Governor Obaseki had warned of stiff penalties against perpetrators of violence ahead of the poll and condemned the July 25 display by thugs at the gate of the Palace of the Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin.
Obaseki warned those intent on disturbing public peace that he is determined to carry out his primary responsibility of maintaining order and protecting lives and properties as the Chief Security Officer of the state.
Speaking on Arise Television programme, on Monday, Oshiomhole, who regretted that violence was now being associated with Edo, said during his eight year tenure many peaceful polls were held in the state on account of his campaign for “one man, one vote,” adding Edo voters will not be dissuaded by threats of violence.
According him, in his second term election, during which he won in the 18 local councils of the state and defeated the godfathers of Edo in their wards, not one shot was fired.
His words: “During the election of Governor Obaseki, when I was the sitting governor, not one shot was fired.
“My campaign for one-man one-vote dismantled those who use violence to conduct elections instead of ballot papers. I have a track record, which I want to protect.”
Oshiomhole added that his supporters were shot at recently by thugs of political opponents, of which he did not retaliate “because I am someone who has never relied on thugs”.
He added: “Before now, I have complained about a situation where Obaseki said I should not come to Edo, that before I come to Edo, I must get permission.
“I watched a clip on Channels Television where the governor said: ‘I am the governor, between me and the deputy, we are the two persons who have immunity, I will arrest anybody who does XYZ. I will arrest him’.
“He did not say he will report to the police. So he is above the law. That ‘if they want violence we will give them violence’. A leader does not talk like that.”
According to Oshiomhole, Edo people cannot be cowed by the threat, and ‘they will come out en mass to vote on September 19.”