The Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State has accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of resorting to blackmail, intimidation and harassment of traders in the state with a view to forcing them to vote for the All Progressives Congress in Saturday’s House of Assembly elections.

It said the state government financially induced various market leaders at New Benin, Oba Market, Etinosa Market and Ekiuwa market to force and blackmailed traders at the markets to join an “Apology March” to government house scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, 2019 to beg Adams Oshiomhole and Governor Obaseki for forgiveness.

The PDP said it was clear that Edo people have rejected the APC policy and style and urged the people to give the APC a bloody nose again on March 9, 2019.

Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, who stated this in a press statement said the traders are to join the in Apology March and pledge loyalty to APC or they lose their stalls in the markets.

Nehikhare urged the traders to resist the threat and see the elections as an opportunity to wake Edo state from its deep legislative slumber and make the state work again.

According to the statement, “Threatening a man’s means of financial survival for political compliance is reprehensible, irresponsible and condemnable. It exposes this government and its party, APC, as hollow, wicked and devilish.

“Edo PDP uses this opportunity to reassure the market women and traders that the APC threat is not actionable. It is a ruse!

“They have no powers to take your stalls talkless of demolish the market as they are boasting they would. You must stand up to the bullies. APC cannot bully Edo people.

“We sincerely appeal to you to extend same support you gave to our presidential and National Assembly candidates and vote massively for PDP House of Assembly candidates. Your support will guarantee quality representation and robust debates in the assembly.”

Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, described the allegation as a complete false and creation of the Edo PDP.

Osagie said it would take someone suffering from horrific hallucination to imagine that Governor Obaseki would hurt interest of the traders after prioritising their wellbeing through several reforms of trade practices.

He noted that some of the traders might not have obtained degrees from universities but they were more intelligent than Nehikhare.

According to him, “It is still lost on PDP that they lost the war in the presidential and national assembly elections held on Saturday February 23.

“They have depended on lies for decades as a strategy for accessing power and swindling people’s mandates, but Edo people and Nigerians now know them for what they truly are, mandate swindlers!

“Nehikhare must think very little of our illustrious women, mothers and sisters, who toil night and day to keep food on the table of most families in our state.

“For example, they know who has cared for them the most; sanitising revenue collection in the markets, rebuilding markets raised by fire incident, and appointing a market woman as a member of the board of the State Universal Basic Education Board, to represent the interest of our market women and mothers on the SUBEB board.”

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