BY JEFFERSON IBIWALE, Benin
The Enogie of Obazuwa and younger brother to the Oba of Benin, Edun Akenzua, has alleged a grand plot by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to take over leadership of the state at all cost by ensuring that a large number of Benin voters are disenfranchised.
The allegation is coming ahead of the commencement of voter’s registration exercise and distribution of voters’ permanent cards in Edo State later this month.
Akenzua, who leads a group known as the Benin Leaders of Thought, BLT, made up of Benin traditional rulers and politicians, said the PDP intends to manipulate the registration exercise by ensuring that majority of Benin eligible voters are unable to obtain the permanent voter’s card.
According to him, the plan would be perfected in such a way that on election day, anyone who does not have the permanent voters card will not be allowed to vote.
“PDP leadership is desperate to ‘capture’ Edo State and install a governor from Edo Central. The imbroglio is directed against the Benins. It is a well laid plot to make Benin irrelevant in the scheme of things. It is not by accident that there is no Benin person in President Jonathan’s cabinet. Powerful enemies of Benin made sure of that. Yet, Benins are in the majority in population in the state,” the monarch said.
The group traced the disadvantage of the Benin people in the PDP to an alleged trap set by the leadership of the party which encouraged the Benins in the party to fight against each other.
“When PDP was establishing its structure in Edo State, Benin leaders in the party fell into the trap set by enemies of Benin. The trap was to split the rank of the Benins. Six Benin persons were encouraged to vie for the position of the party’s chairman. The aspirants campaigned viciously against each other thus fragmenting the Benin bloc vote. Those who did not want a Benin person in that position, ensured that only one aspirant came from Edo North,” he explained.
However, the PDP through its publicity secretary in the state, Matthew Uroghide, has refuted these allegations, saying it would not reduce the voting strength of Edo South whose population was an advantage to the party.
Uroghide refused further comments citing party’s reverence for traditional rulers.