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Failed rally: How Obaseki demystified Oshiomhole, as Police put APC Chairman, supporters under surveillance in Edo


Oshiomhole and Obaseki

•Empty canopies at the venue of the botched Oshiomhole rally . . . on Friday, in Benin City.

BENIN – Embattled National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, was on Friday, demystified when by Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who ensured that his widely advertised factional APC Mega Rally did not hold at the designated venue or any public facility in Benin City, the state capital.

As it were, it turned out to be a referendum of a sort on both men. Hundreds of Edo youths monitored and enforced the wishes of the majority of people of Edo State and the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, that the planned rally organised to welcome a former member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his loyalists to the party did not hold.

This was just as the youths turned back and dispersed artistes and musicians contracted to perform at the rally, including the scanty supporters of Oshiomhole, who expressed disappointment in the demystification of the influence of the former governor in Edo State.

Adamu had on Thursday suspended the rally organised to welcome a former chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his loyalists to the APC, citing “overriding internal security interests.”

The police’s suspension of the rally which was contained in a letter addressed to the Edo State Deputy Governor, Hon. Philip Shaibu, and signed by the Principal Staff Officer to the IGP, ACP Idowu Owohunwa, came few hours after the threat from Edo Youth Vanguard (EYV) and thousands of youths loyal to the APC in the state protested against the planned mega rally.

It was gathered that the state Police Command positioned its officers in strategic places around Benin City including the proposed venue of the rally at Garrick Memorial College, Ekenwan Road.

A source said: “The youths mobilised themselves as early as 6am and ensured that the directive of the IGP was not flouted in anyway.

“The Outside Broadcast Van (OB Van) of some Television Stations that were scheduled to transmit the rally live, were left stranded.

“Even the youths had to disperse the little crowd who gathered under the erected white canopies and even the artistes who were brought from outside the state had to leave disappointed. It was all a big flop and nobody will turn up for them if they ever call for another rally. Mr. Oshiomhole who looked defeated and deflated was seen discussing with some of aides on the next line of action for the day.”

The source noted that with the uncertainty and apprehension, few supporters of Oshiomhole took to the residence of Ize-Iyamu in Benin and the PDP governorship candidate in 2014 briefly addressed the left-over crowd, symbolically defectd to APC in his compound and dispersed them.

Meanwhile, Police kept surveillance on Oshiomhole in his residence all through on Friday morning to ensure that the IGP directive was not flouted. The security agencies were still keeping watch on the APC chairman movement as at the time of filling this report in order to avert the breakdown of law and order in Edo State as both factions in the APC are threatening fire and violence. (News Express)

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