Edo: Opposition accuses Oshiomhole of ‘bribery ,coercion and inducement’…It’s ridiculous says media aide.



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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