The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State have alleged that some of their members were on Saturday night abducted by thugs of the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Edo.
According to a report emanating from APC campaign office in Benin, the supporters were abducted with two campaign vehicles belonging to the APC after a governorship rally in Illushi, near Ubiaja, Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo.
While three of the abducted supporters, including a popular entertainer, Maleke, and two others escaped, others and the vehicles were yet to be found, the report alleged.
The report further said: “Maleke’s escape did not, however, come easy as he, Jonathan Orukpe – personal driver to the deputy governorship candidate, and Sani Kamil – the soundman, were seriously beaten, and the windscreen of their vehicle smashed”.
“We were beaten, molested and almost thrown into the River Niger by some of the thugs, who repeatedly shouted at us for daring to come to the area, which they claim has been secured for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the PDP governorship candidate.
“Before they started, the thugs, one of who is called Lucky, took away our phones, and asked us to sit on the floor. It was when they heard that security agencies have been mobilized that they left, and a woman from the community assisted us to escape”, explained Maleke.
Trouble began at the campaign ground when some of the PDP thugs infiltrated the crowd and started breaking vehicle glasses and chanting PDP with the poster of the opposition party candidate in their hands.
The APC press crew vehicle and some journalists were molested, while some of the campaign vehicles that were parked some distance from the campaign ground were hurriedly relocated for fear of been vandalized, said the statement, which Jungle Journalist received.
Meanwhile, the APC flagbearer, Godwin Obaseki, who described the incident as unfortunate and an act of desperation on the part of the PDP, said the matter has been reported to the Divisional Police Headquarters at Ubiaja, Esan South East.
He, however, noted that in spite of the intimidation, harassment and deliberate provocation, the ruling party remained undeterred, and will go on with its campaigns peacefully.
“Part of my convoy was waylaid, and some supporters abducted into the bush and molested; some of them sustained were hurt. We do not expect this level of violence from the PDP supporters at Illushi.
“We have reported the case at the Divisional Police Headquarters at Ubiaja, and we hope that the authorities will carry out the necessary investigation and get to the bottom of the matter.”
“We appeal to our supporters remain calm and resist any temptation of retaliatory attacks because we are a lawful and peace-loving party. We are not oblivious of their crude politics and plans to perpetuate more violence across the state in order to intimidate us, but we will not be deterred”, declared Obaseki.