The Edo State Government has requested that security agencies detain and investigate former Governor Adams Oshiomhole, whom they accuse of being the mastermind of the old naira protest rocking the state over the lack of new naira notes while the old ones were being rejected.
At a news conference in Benin, the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, based his accusation on a recent viral video in which he said that the former governor gave orders to his supporters to travel to town and terrorize perceived rivals.
Along with the absence of naira notes, he claimed that an investigation among the demonstrators revealed that Oshiomhole allegedly instigated the demonstration with the knowledge that his party would lose the upcoming general elections.
Nehikhare said “He should be arrested and made to account for his movement in the last few days. Oshiomhole deliberately instigated the protest and I am sure you are all aware that a few days ago a video showed Oshiomhole instigating people in Benin City to go on rampage and bring anarchy to our state because his government and his party, APC are about to lose the forthcoming election.
“I know part of the reason was the scarcity of the naira but even if that is the case at least all Nigerians should know that the party that is responsible for the policy is the APC and it is the same party that is now destroying PDP billboards in Edo State.
“While they said they were protesting against the naira policy, a gantry that is over 50 feet high was destroyed by APC supporters. PDP Is not in government that is responsible for the policy and those responsible is the APC and it is clear that this is politically motivated and we are pointing fingers directly at Adams Oshiomhole as a result of what he said of unleashing his ‘lions and Tigers’ to go completely against the laws of the land because he wants to desperately be part of the next government.”
Responding through his media aide, Victor Oshioke, Oshiomhole said, “If Oshiomhole used the word intimidate, he said they should intimidate them with their own campaign, he said they should not leave the space in Edo for other parties because Edo is an APC state. The short video is everywhere, if they have the whole video let them post it and judge it with the short one they have, did he say demonstrate? No. He said they should intimidate them with their own crowd, that the APC crowd should be able to intimidate other parties’ crowds in Edo.
“As we speak, Oshiomhole is in Port Harcourt, yesterday (Tuesday) he was in Imo state and he went to all these places from Auchi where he has been campaigning. Is there protest in Auchi or any part of Edo North Oshiomhole is busy campaigning for the APC presidential candidate and his senatorial ticket and did not instigate anybody to riot.
“Oshiomhole didn’t make any statement to suggest that anybody should riot against anybody. He is busy campaigning to Edo North people for his senatorial ambition and for Tinubu presidential race.
“The Edo state government is rattled and nervous by the acceptance Oshiomhole gets anywhere he goes to in Edo state almost eight years after he left office against Obaseki’s and Shaibu’s government who had failed woefully.
“If Oshiomole did not instigate people in the past election in the state, why would he now instigate violence when he is contesting and the people are with him?”.