By Danlami Nmodu
As the battle for re-election heats up, campaign style and tactics of Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state has come increasingly under scrutiny by his opponents. No doubt he has chalked up some endorsements from stakeholders recently . But the governor’s critics accuse him of using barefaced bribery, coercion and inducements to woo voters and stakeholders. Tony Iyare, Media aide to Oshiomhole however dismissed these accusation as the rantings of mischievous busybodies.
Opposition members told Newsdiaryonline said Oshiomhole appears to be suffering from strange fears of the unknown especially given the challenge from PDP.Sources insist that aside from the open endorsements he is getting, the governor has been using coercion, outright bribery as his campaign strategy. But Iyare said Oshiomhole ‘s remarkable performance has turned the state into a huge construction site.Therefore,he does not need to induce anybody to vote for him.
Issue number one:Traditional rulers in some parts of the state are said to be angry over the disparity in the sharing of Oshiomhole’s vehicles which is viewed as a bribe to them.As part of what has been described as ‘massive bribery of whoever is bribable’, Jeeps and SUVs have been given out to traditional rulers including members of Edo dukedom called Enigie .About 60 Enigies got various kind of vehicles ranging from jeeps to Kia Soul.
Newsdiaryonline learnt that the disparity in the kind of vehicles distributed to traditional rulers is causing rumpus among them. Some of them got jeeps.But those who got Kia Soul are said to be complaining and wondering whether they are inferior to those given Jeeps.Even the opposition PDP in the state has reportedly complained saying the massive bribery was unnecessary. Iyare however dismissed claims that the vehicles were given as a bribe.The media aide to the governor told Newsdiaryonline this story of bribery is the figment of the imaginations of those peddling it and it is very ridiculous.He said that traditional rulers are entitled to vehicles just like their colleagues everywhere.’Tell me where traditional ruler are not entitled to vehicles?’ he asked,but added that they were not given the vehicles as a basis for any vote.He insists that Oshimhole is focused on development and that is why Edo has become a huge construction site,”we cannot be distracted by some busybodies’’ Iyare said
But the cars for the rulers represent one in the series of allegedly desperate measures taken by Oshiomhole to regain his sit.Also, the governor is accused of coercing civil servants in the state to hold a rally in order to endorse him for reelection,Newsdiaryonline was told that the PDP got wind of this and went to the Federal High Court Benin where the party got an injunction stopping the civil servants from holding the rally.Iyare said this claim that the governor is coercing civil servants is frivolous and mischievous.He said Oshiomhole does not need to coerce anybody to endorse and vote for him because his performance speaks for him .He has touched lives and made very significant changes in the state which has been postrate for almost thirty years.Workesr in the state see his tractors and caterpillars working, he said.
It is the same allegation that has been raised with respect to plan by organized labour in Edo state to the botched rally to endorse Oshiomhole. The rally was actually scheduled to hold today .But Comrade Godwin Erhahon got an injunction from the National Industrial Court retraining Edo state NLC and TUC from holding the rally.It was learnt that Immediately the injunction was gotten from the court the Inspector General of Police was served with the injunction.The IGP further instructed the AIG in charge of the zone to ensure compliance with the court order.And policemen moved in today to stop the rally scheduled for Ogbe Stadium Benin City.
Iyare told Newsdiaryonline that those alleging that the governor induced the Labour with N100million are telling lies because the government does not have that kind of money to expend wastefully.The state’s resources are lean and the governor is investing in infrastructure.Why does he need to induce labour ?Everybody is mobilized for Oshiomhole, he insists.He referred to those who went to court once again as mischievous elements who went to Industrial court and the court granted them an injunction..is that why the court was set up ? he wondered ,insisting the industrial court was set up to handle purely labour matters.He believes the court has no business stopping anybody from gathering to express their support from anybody.
No doubt the war of words between the opposition in the state is set to continue as every party strives to win the hearts, minds and the votes of the people. Only time will truly tell whether the people will endorse ACN Governor Oshiomhole again or return to PDP .But with Tony Anenih being from the state, the unease over what surprises PDP may spring remains a central issue in the Edo power tussle. But the loss of Oserheimen Osunbor to Oshiomhole remains a major blow to PDP. The former governor said he believes in development and since Oshiomhole is performing, he has nothing against him.
But if Oshiomhole is performing so well, why is he taking steps that are portraying him as desperate. Or are his critics raising false alarm?
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