Hundreds of Edo youths, on Friday, monitored and enforced the wishes of the majority of people of Edo State and the directive of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, that the planned rally by some factional members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) spearheaded by its National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, and organised to welcome a former member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his loyalists to the party did not hold.
This is just as the youth turned back and dispersed artistes and musicians contracted to perform at the rally, including the scanty supporters of Oshiomhole, who expressed disappointment in the demystification of the influence of the former governor.
Adamu had on Thursday ordered the suspension of the rally, citing “overriding internal security interests.”
The police suspension of the rally, contained in a letter addressed to the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, and signed by the Principal Staff Officer to the IGP, ACP Idowu Owohunwa, came few hours after the threat from Edo Youth Vanguard (EYV) and thousands of youths loyal to the APC in the state protested against the planned mega rally.
It was gathered that the state Police Command positioned its officers in strategic places around Benin City including the proposed venue of the rally at Garrick Memorial College, Ekenwan Road.
A source said “The youths mobilised themselves as early as 6am and ensured that the directive of the IGP was not flouted in anyway.
“The Outside Broadcast Van (OB Van) of some Television Stations that were scheduled to transmit the rally live, were left stranded.
“Even youths had to disperse the little crowd gathered under erected white canopies. Artistes who were brought from outside the state had to leave disappointed. It was all a big flop and nobody will turn up for them if they ever call for another rally,” the source said.
Oshiomhole, who looked defeated and deflated, was seen discussing with some aides on the next line of action for the day.
The source noted that with the uncertainty and apprehension, few supporters of Oshiomhole took to the residence of Ize-Iyamu in Benin and the PDP governorship candidate in 2014, briefly addressed the left-over crowd, symbolically defected to APC in his compound and dispersed them.
Meanwhile, Police kept surveillance on Oshiomhole in his residence all through Friday morning to ensure that the IGP directive was not flouted.
Security agencies are still keeping watch on Oshiomhole’s movement as at the time of filing this report to avert a breakdown of law and order in Edo State as both factions in APC are threatening a showdown.