ARRESTS: EDO ACN, PDP IN WAR OF WORDS
By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN -THERE is political tension in Edo State, as the leadership of the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are trading words over reports that PDP wanted to invite police from Abuja to arrest frontline senatorial candidates of the ACN and some of its leaders prior to the April elections.
A chieftain of the ACN in the state, Chief Francis Inegbeneki, was picked up Monday by the police in Abuja over allegation of murder, while another ACN senatorial candidate in Edo North senatorial district of the state, Deacon Domingo Obende, was also invited to the Police headquarters, Abuja, following a petition that he was plotting violence ahead of the elections.
It will be recalled that the ACN senatorial candidate in Edo South and incumbent senator in the state, Senator Ehigie Uzamere, escaped death last Sunday, but his orderly was not so lucky as he was shot dead, during a shoot out with suspected assassins.
Consequently, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, raised alarm, saying that despite the avowed declaration by President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure free and fair elections, 'there are ominous signs, particularly with recent cases of assassination and politically motivated arrests, that this declaration may be in the breach.'
But the state chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, said those arrested were people involved in one crime or other and that it only happened that they were members of the ACN.
He added, 'the allegation that it was being masterminded by the PDP is not just a lie but a diversionary ploy by the ACN to whittle down the governor's call for anarchy at their Okada rally.'
However, Governor Oshiomhole who spoke at the formal opening of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Benin Branch Week, said it was clear that the stage had been set to stifle the capacity of the ACN in the forthcoming elections.