The Edo State Government has condemned in the strongest possible terms the alleged activities of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in heating up the polity in the state by organising what has been described as ‘APC faction’s mock primaries’ through the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a statement, Secretary to State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., said it was despicable of Comrade Oshiomhole to organise such an event at a time the world was reeling from the havoc of coronavirus, with over 200,000 persons lost to the pandemic.
Ogie noted that Oshiomhole’s actions are tantamount to spitting on the grave of those who have died in Nigeria and elsewhere and endangering the many others who are hospitalised by his breach of the directives on public gathering.
According to him, “The coronavirus pandemic has not only shut the global economy and disrupted the world as we know it, it has led to the loss of over 200,000 lives globally, with Nigeria having its fair share of casualties.
“It is then most despicable of Comrade Oshiomhole to show such insensitivity by spitting on the graves of these people; endangering the lives of millions of Edo people and undermining the efforts of government at the state and national levels to halt the deadly campaign of this invisible enemy.
“Comrade Oshiomhole on Thursday, April 30, 2020, organised what some media outlets have come to term as ‘APC faction’s mock primaries’ in Benin City. The meeting was organised by a group of dissidents who make up the EPM with the active backing of Comrade Oshiomhole, who, it was reported, drew up a delegates list for the exercise.
“It must be noted that the gathering held in a house of a member of the EPM, with the attendants numbering over subsisting directives on public gatherings as prescribed by the national and state governments.
“For Comrade Oshiomhole to organise this sort of gathering at this dark moment of our history as a nation, he has not only shown disregard for the health and safety of Edo people and Nigerians in general, but also proved that he has no regard for the hard-won reputation of our great party.”
Ogie continued, “The organisation of this event directly associated with Comrade Oshiomhole has effectively brought the name and integrity of the party to disrepute; rubbished the efforts by different stakeholders in defeating this deadly virus and put the resolve of our government at the state and national level in jeopardy.
“With this action, it is also clear as day that Comrade Oshiomhole has no regard for President Muhammadu Buhari and the collective efforts of the various agencies of government to protect and safeguard Nigerians in these dire times.”
He said that in a global crisis akin to a world war, Comrade Oshiomhole’s actions expose his inherent spite for the Nigerian people; advertises his vainglorious quest to remain as the godfather in Edo State by trampling on the lives of those who have been lost to this pandemic and the many more who are battling for their lives in the hospitals.
“This uncharitable, machiavellian and self-propagating character exhibited through his action make him eminently undeserving of the position he currently occupies in the party. Nigerians should see him rightly as the man who thinks only about his ambitions, interests and cronies. He is incapable of empathy, does not provide succour and support, particularly now that our people are at their lowest ebb and in dire need of hope.”
“It is most instructive of the kind of person that Oshiomhole is that at this time that Federal and State governments are seeking for security operatives to enforce directives on safety and other public health precautions, he is deploying policemen and soldiers to a location to hold a political gathering. These security operatives should have rather been at borders and other strategic points serving the people and doing right by the thousands of health workers who are in the frontlines serving as shields against this unraveling enemy,” he said.
Insisting that the state government would not tolerate attempts to test its resolve to protect Edo people in wake of COVID-19 pandemic, he said, “We, therefore, by this statement, call on Comrade Oshiomhole, to desist forthwith from these lawless actions and warn that the state government would not stand idly as he carries on with these acts that jeopardise the safety and lives of Edo people.
“The primary responsibility of government is to protect the lives of the people and we would not hesitate to bring down the heavy hand of the law on him if he continues to challenge the resolve of government to protect the people. We reiterate that no man is above the laws of the land and we would ensure that the rule of law prevails.
He noted that “going forward any individual or group that violates the order of government on social and physical distancing and limit to the number of people that can meet in a public place, thereby endangering the lives of Edo people in the face of this pandemic, would be made to face the full wrath of the law.”
He added, “We also urge the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Chief of Army Staff to investigate the use of their men for this illegal assignment when there is a national emergency of the kind we are faced with.
“We call on the Presidency and President Muhammadu Buhari to call Comrade Oshiomhole to order and impress on him the urgency of the need to protect our people this period; impress on him to desist from the wanton disregard for law and order, and do away with acts that show disregard for and divide our great party, the the All Progressives Congress (APC).”
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