By Onome Oghenetega
The opposition All Progressives Congress and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in Delta State are trading blames over the recent separate clashes by supporters of both parties where about four persons where reportedly killed at Effurun and Abraka in Uvwie and Ethiope East Local Government Areas of the state.
In the clash in Effurun, three persons were reportedly killed by supporters of both parties while scores of persons were injured during Friday and Sunday attacks.
One person was alleged to have been killed in the clash in Abraka on Monday. Several persons also sustained injuries.
Reacting to the incident, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Dr. Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza said the attacks were meant to intimidate their supporters from ensuring that they campaign for the candidates of the party in the forthcoming general elections in the state.
Osuoza, in a statement on Wednesday while condemning the attacks, alleged that the attacks on its members were instigated by two leading leaders of the APC in the state over some PDP members’ refusal to join the opposition APC by force.
He noted that, “We have particularly noted with great concern, the deliberate and unbridled attacks on our members, predominantly in Abraka, Uvwie and Ughelli/Orogun axis of Delta State, by persons strongly suspected to be agents and loyalists of two prominent political figures, who incidentally belong to the opposition, All Progressive Congress, APC in the State.
“This is quite unfortunate, given the negative leadership, mentorship and instruction they are passing on to their followers, as we have not forgotten so soon, the association of Delta State to the unsavory assault and brigandage inflicted on the National Assembly and the embarrassing disrespect and disgraceful handling of the National Assembly Mace, which is the sacred symbol of our democracy.
“We further decry the subsequent and irrational arrests and incarceration of our members by law enforcement agencies, which we consider as random acts of intimidation and coercion, deliberately visited on loyalists of the PDP in these remaining days leading up to the general elections.”
Meanwhile, the Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr Ogheneluemu Sylvester Imonina, who exonerated his party as the brain behind the separate attacks, accused the ruling party in the state of allegedly instigating crises ahead of the elections which he claimed APC had won.
Imonina, in a statement on Wednesday, posited that “We make bold to state that the allegation by PDP is a spurious, unfounded and foolish attempt to use dirty propaganda to cover PDP’s deliberate acts of insecurity borne out of its fear of the unstoppable electoral defeat that APC is set to inflict on it (PDP).”
The statement explained that crisis broke out in Effurun when a former staunched supporter of the Senatorial Candidate of the PDP, Evelyn Oboro indicated interest to dump the PDP for APC.
According to him, “For the avoidance of doubt, the information available in the public domain is that a young man popularly called ‘Napoleon’, who was a staunch supporter of Hon. Evelyn Oboro, (PDP’s Senatorial candidate in Delta Central) a House of Representatives member, recently expressed his desire to leave the sinking Delta PDP and join the APC.
“It’s reasonable to believe that the popular youth leader sees the handwriting on the wall that PDP has no future at all in Delta. It is believed that out of fear that PDP’s loss is becoming clearer by the day, PDP instigated some youths in Uvwie to declare the said Napoleon a personal non-granta, and started breaching the peace of Effurun. The result is what is now manifesting in Effurun. Typical PDP’s way.
“For Abraka, the hometown and immediate political fortress of our Governorship Candidate, Chief Great Ogboru, it is a common fact and truth that PDP has never won any election there. Information has it that in a futile attempt to instill fear in peoples’ mind before, during and after 2019 general elections, some unscrupulous PDP elements started fermenting trouble in Abraka.
“We note with commendation that Chief Ogboru has in different fora advised Deltans, especially His supporters, not to fall for traps and temptations of this nature. We also know that some elements in PDP have been labouring to frame up our members on the crisis they instigated. We are watching them closely.”