Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole on Friday accused some PDP governors in the South-South of registering 8,000 militants in a bid to rig the governorship election in the state.
He said this during a visit by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to the Government House, Benin City.
“Our opponent unable to find local thugs to help them perpetrate violence which they have done between 1999 and 2007 when I took over, resorted to liaising with my brothers in the sub-region, Delta and Rivers, in particular, to export criminals and militants into Edo State in order to make peaceful election impossible.
“In line with my tradition, I have always tried to speak out on any matter that I am worried about. I first raised this alarm on the eve of INEC Continuing Voters’ Registration exercise, an exercise that has been designed to register those who have become eighteen between the last registration and the current one.
“But these criminals who are determined to perpetrate violence and deny us the beauty of a peaceful election, unable to find local participants have chosen to import these militants with the support of two or so of my brothers. When I say brothers, I mean brother governors. It doesn’t matter if I disagree with them, they are my brothers.
“They are exporting militants to Edo State to register so that with the PVC in their hands, they will appear to have the lawful basis to be present at the designated polling units where they are expected to unleash violence on election day.”
He continued, “When I raised this alarm, I should expect naturally criminals are not as courageous as they seem. They denied that there was any such plan, but happily our ever vigilant, the peace-loving electorate were able to apprehend some of these people from other states that came into Edo State for the purpose of this exercise.
“At least, thirteen of them were handed over to the police. The IG may wish to establish what has happened to those people who were handed over. So, we handed them over to the police in line with what we were expected to do as civilised people.
“Having done that, we are clear that there are a lot of people, up to eight thousand of them who are non-resident in Edo State, who are not indigenes of Edo State, who are indigenes and residents of Delta and Rivers states and some other states in the South-South, some from Bayelsa state who have registered for the sole purpose not to swell the votes, but to be present in various locations on election day.
“Now, as part of the processes they put in place to effect this, they had conspirators in INEC that made available to them data capturing machine in the residences of various opposition leaders. We shared these experiences with the police and the DSS.”
He went further, “Our people are very anxious to have a free and fair election but the challenge is these people who are determined to import thuggery and violence, and they have an easier task and we have a more difficult task to protect the electoral process.”