Adams Oshiomhole, a former governor of Edo State, has rejected the request for his arrest made by the current governor, Godwin Obaseki, claiming that his successor has no authority to make such a request.
Years of animosity between the two political rivals pushed Obaseki, who had been elected in 2016 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for his first term, to switch to the People’s Democratic Party, where he successfully ran for reelection in 2020.
The state government responded on Wednesday to violent protests in the state over the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) contentious naira swap policy and the resulting shortage of new currency by accusing Oshiomhole of orchestrating the rallies.
According to Obaseki, the former governor organized thugs to vandalize banks and disturb the tranquility of the state because there was a shortage of naira.
“At this point, we request that security forces detain Adams Oshiomhole so that he may be questioned and held accountable for his movements, particularly since he’s been in Benin City recently. According to Chris Nehikhare, the state commissioner for communication and orientation, “He purposefully provoked the people’s protest.”
Oshiomhole, however, said that his response to the accusation was amusement while speaking to journalists in Edo State on Friday.
“I had a great laugh when I first saw on social media that Obaseki had ordered the police to arrest me.
“First, Obaseki is unaware that he lacks the authority to order the arrest of a person. And for that reason, some people are hesitant to believe what state police critics like Obaseki say.
In Edo North, the APC senatorial candidate contended that it was up to the law enforcement agencies to look into whomever they considered a person of interest and that if they were found to be lacking, they might be invited for interrogation.
He continued, “The police have not advanced to the level of receiving commands from a politician who is faced with a crisis of confidence and the people are rising against him. I would be shocked if they have today.
Oshiomhole discussed the ideal political leader and the appropriate course of action for the government.
“A governor or leader must be able to win the hearts of his people, talk them out of animosity, and most importantly, offer them hope that the government is in a position to address whatever issues they confront. The government should take this action.
Oshiomhole noted that protests were a part of democratic ideals but condemned the disturbances that erupted throughout the state.
“I think Nigerians have the right to demonstrate against anything they find objectionable. But I also urge Nigerians to recognize the significant distinction between peaceful protest and violent riots.
“The issue with rioting is that you never know who you’re going to shoot when you fire a gun into a market. But what separates a free people from slaves, he continued, is when you peacefully decide to protest.