By Simeon OSAJIE
The All Progressives Congress (APC), Edo State Chapter has again attributed the violent protest which rocked the City of Benin on Wednesday, 15th February, 2023 to the nonchalant attitude of the Governor Godwin Obaseki’s administration in the face of unwanranted hardship the people have suffered since the naira scarcity policy and fuel scarcity.
“It was therefore a surprise for the same administration to hold the former National Chairman of the Party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole responsible for the attendant negative reactions from the people: victims of the unpleasant situation, calling for his arrest by the Police,” APC said.
The Party’s Publicity Secretary, Peter Enoserogbe Uwadiae Igbinigie Esq. spoke to newsmen on its behalf in Benin, Thursday, 6th February in reaction to the State Government’s statement Wednesday evening.
The State Government had through its Commissioner for Orientation and Communication, Chris Nehikhare accused Oshiomhole of instigating the protest over the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which led to the violence and destruction of property worth millions.
The State Government had consequently called on security agencies to invite and interrogate Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for instigating the protests in a viral video said to had been circulated on social media.
“I call on security agencies to invite Oshiomhole for questioning. He should be interrogated, arrested, and made to account for his movement in Benin City a few days ago.”
The APC noted that while Edo people were commending the courage of the State Governors who “took the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Court challenging its deadline for the use of the old naira notes;
“It was disgusting and anti people for them to hear that instead of the Governor to fight for their welfare, the Edo State Government has filed a motion for joinder at the Supreme Court as Respondents; meaning the State is on the side of the CBN to emasculate and further punish the people.
It was this offensive action of the State Government that increased the “already tensed atmosphere in the State, and remotely led to the protestations in the State,” it said.
“The secondary and effectual reason behind the protestations was the senseless use of arms by the security agents, on those who were peacefully agitating for their rights, leading to the unwarranted killings of many innocent citizens.
“The social media is awash with the pictorial evidence of the shooting and killings.”
The APC wondered; how can any sane man in the circumstance above, “attribute the ugly, barbaric and unorthodox action to Oshiomhole: such a refined gentleman who has built a strong and virile legacies across the length and breath of the State albeit the nation?
“It is only senseless, baseless, undemocratic, puerile, uninformed, uncultured, flimsy and most unfortunate for a Government whose responsibility it is; to cater for the well-being of its people to now appropriate and blame its failure on a man whose unprecedented image looms large in the corridors of labour movement, Government and civil society movement.
“Edo people are now well informed and are encouraged to appreciate the negative consequences of the abandonment of Government responsibility by Obaseki.
“Hence the Obaseki’s led People Democratic Party (PDP) Government should bury its head in shame, for its failure to provide the security of lives and property which is her primary responsibility.”
Continuing, the APC noted, “the uncoordinated and repulsive press statement by Obaseki’s aides further exposes their uninformed and naive dispositions towards governance.”
Consequently Edo people should use their Personal Voters’ Cards (PVC) to vote out the PDP in the State as to restore the beautiful legacies Oshiomhole left behind, it urged.
“We also plead with the angry Edo people to remain calm, as the Supreme Court which is the last hope of the common man shall adequately address these anti people policies of the CBN, and openly supported by the cabal including the Governor of Edo State; Godwin Obaseki.”
The Party however expressed its sincere sympathy for the banks vandalized by the angry mobs; also the families of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate confusion.
It prayed God should grant the souls of the dead mercy to rest in His bosom, and the families; the strength to bear the irreparable loss.