Following the shootings that reportedly happened on Thursday, August 13, 2020, during the Peoples’ Democratic Party campaign rally at Apanam in the Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, the party and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been trading blames over the incident.

Imonofi Osumah, a PDP chieftain in the local government said an APC chieftain and a former commissioner in the state, Lucky James was responsible for the shootings.

Three people according to ThePunch were injured during the shooting.

Osumah alleged that James hired hoodlums and stationed them around the venue of the PDP campaign rally. He said the hoodlums started shooting immediately the PDP campaign team arrived in Apanam.

Governor Godwin Obaseki. [dailypost]
Governor Godwin Obaseki. [dailypost]

He said, “As we were going to Ward 10 in Apanam, the people said Lucky James’ boys were shooting. But the security agents with us chased them away and we started our rally. But when we moved to Ward 2 in Auchi, the hoodlums started shooting again.

“Our security people were also there and chased them away; we did not engage them in any gunfight. By Friday night, all our billboards had been destroyed.

“But I have told our members to keep calm because we have worked hard and we are sure that we will be victorious at the poll. The Godwin Obaseki-led government has done well for the people and they are ready to vote for him again.”

Refuting the allegation against the APC, Chris Azebamwan, the state Publicity Secretary said no member of his party sponsored political thugs to disrupt the PDP campaign.

He, however, alleged that some youths loyal to the PDP were caught destroying the campaign posters of the APC governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

APC Governorship aspirant in Edo state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. [guardian]
APC Governorship aspirant in Edo state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. [guardian]

He added that the action of the PDP youth’s was resisted by youths loyal to the APC.

He said, “Some youths affiliated to the PDP were trying to damage the billboards of the APC, so youths loyal to the APC challenged them. In the course of the argument, one ThankGod and his accomplices brought out AK-47 rifles and started shooting. Fortunately, no one died but three APC members were injured — two adults and a child.”

Meanwhile, the APC gubernatorial candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu has dissociated himself and the party from the recent violence at the PDP rally in the state.

Ize-Iyamu said the All Progressives Congress (APC) had been peaceful during its campaigns across the state and would never be involved in violence.

It may be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier in August threatened to suspend the Edo and Ondo governorship election process if the actions of political actors led to a breakdown of law and order.