Edo guber: Obaseki, APC bicker over propaganda against Oba’s palace

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BENIN CITY—THE Commissioner for Communication and Orientation in Edo State, Chris Nehikhare, has accused the All Progressives Congress, APC of relying on propaganda to stoke the people against the palace of the Oba of Benin as a strategy to win the September 21 governorship election.

Nehikhare stated this during a press briefing, where he displayed a purported APC WhatsApp group that showed some members debating the rationality, or otherwise, of the strategy.

He urged journalists to be neutral in their work, ahead of the election.

However, the APC denied the allegation, saying it was the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s deceptive strategy and a precursor to the party’s failure in the election.

Nehikhara said: “We all agreed that we are coming into the election and there is so much madness in town. It has become clear that it is the intention of the opposition to drag the reputation of our Royal Majesty into the murky waters of their dirty politics.

“All findings have revealed that apart from generating very obnoxious materials on social media, members of the APC have been seen openly propagating this distasteful and demeaning information against the Royal Palace.
“Clearly, they have resorted to weaponizing a negative campaign against our traditional institution as their only strategy for the coming election because they do not have a sellable candidate and also lack intelligence to market their bad product.

“We, however, want to warn them that this disrespectful comment about our traditional institution is not a strategy for the campaign and since they have no plan and have a defective candidate, in September 2024, PDP shall trample upon them in a free and fair election to a resounding victory.

“We have to be careful, especially as politicians and those of us in government, not to get dragged into this kind of cheap propaganda. Journalists have a role to play in these matters and the role is to be a neutral arbiter. When a party takes lies and propaganda as a strategy, that party has nothing to offer the Edo people. We have to be careful of them, it is not our fault that the party lacks people with character, capacity or even people with intellect hence they end up with the candidate they are afraid to campaign for or with.

“As we speak, we have not heard anything on how they are going to better a lot of Edo people, all we hear is how they want to serve their pay masters and to get cheap popularity they create stories, lies and propaganda to discredit a party that has done everything to improve the lives of Edo people. This government is the only government in Nigeria paying N70,000 minimum wage, we are not the biggest state receiving revenue or the biggest IGR but because our people matter to us, we have done that.”

APC reacts

The APC, in a reaction through Assistant State Publicity Secretary, Ofure Osehobo, said the allegation that it was capitalizing on the litigation involving the palace and some suspended Enigie was regrettable and that the WhatsApp group Nehikhare alleged that the conversation took place was fabricated.

The statement reads: “For starters, it is an outdated trick employed by the PDP and Asue Ighodalo, it reflects a lack of innovative strategies, a thorough misunderstanding of the journey ahead and a disconnect from the evolving awareness of the Edo electorate.

“They forget that today, transparency and genuine engagement have more value and as such moribund deceptive tactics only serve to undermine the credibility of those employing them. But it is okay because the dog that will get lost will never hear the master’s whistle.

“Moreover, the failure of PDP and Asue to articulate a clear vision for the future of our state further underscores their floundering campaign. While they profess to offer change, their rhetoric lacks substance, with Asue’s regrettable pledge to merely continue the fraudulent policies of his godfather falling short of inspiring confidence in their style.

“Edo State residents are questioning what new ideas Asue is planning to put on the table, especially considering his previous roles as Chairman of Obaseki’s Alaghodaro scheme and chief economic adviser for eight years.

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