PVC Mop up: Ogiemwonyi, Obaseki Trade Accusations

PVCsAhead of the June 18 governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State, two aspirants on the party’s platform have disagreed over alleged buying up of Permanent Voters’ Cards of some delegates of the APC.
While Chris Ogiemwonyi, a former Minister of State for Works, pointedly accused a co-aspirant of being behind the illegal buying up of delegates’ PVCs, the accused and rumoured ‘anointed’ candidate of Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Godwin Obaseki, denied the allegation, calling on aspirants to focus their campaigns on issues instead of making unsubstantiated allegations.
But Mr. Ogiemwonyi, who called on the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to arrest a serving member of the House of Representatives from Edo North, Philip Shuaibu, who he accused of buying the PVCs on behalf of Mr. Obaseki, also claimed to have video evidence to back up his claims.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, Ogiemwonyi, who spoke through the Director of Planning, Strategy and Operations of his campaign organization, Akemokue Lukman said: “This news conference has to do with attempts by highly-placed people in government, some of whom are lawmakers to smuggle in a gubernatorial aspirant in as the candidate of the party through the back-door.
“This, they intend to do by disenfranchising the voters who are scheduled to take part in the forthcoming primaries”.
“We are telling the delegates to go back to their wards and LGA chairmen and collect back their PVCs because that is their ticket to vote”, he said.
Accusing lawmakers of becoming lawbreakers, the APC governorship aspirant said government officials, including Mr. Obaseki were in attendance at the said meeting.
Mr. Ogiemwonyi, who said the issue was a serious one because both the party’s membership card and the PVC would be used as means of accreditation during the APC governorship primary election, called on the IGP to arrest all those allegedly intimidating the delegates and asking them to submit their voters’ cards for “untoward purpose”.
In a swift reaction, Mr. Obaseki denied sponsoring anyone to help him buy up voter cards.
Speaking to journalists yesterday when he visited the APC national secretariat in Abuja to submit his nomination form, the governorship aspirant, who was flanked by Shuaibu and other federal and state lawmakers from the state, expressed surprise that Mr. Ogiemwonyi could make such an allegation against him.
“I am not sure Engr. Ogiemwonyi would have made a statement like that”, he said, adding “He (Ogiemwonyi) is too responsible to say such a thing. Nothing like that happened. I was in Auchi yesterday (Sunday), where Hon. Philip Shuaibu hosted about 400 delegates from Etsako.
“We were all seated there and they all (delegates) have their voter’s cards. So, for someone to make such an unguided statement, it is rather unfortunate. This is what we try to discourage in my campaign. We must run a campaign that is clean and truthful; a campaign that sticks to issues on ground”, Mr. Obaseki said.

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