A former Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has insisted that his successor, Governor Godwin Obaseki, has no right to order his arrest.
Oshiomhole said this while addressing reporters in Edo state on Friday.
The former governor said his reaction to the accusation was amusing.
The two personalities have been at war since Obaseki was forced to defect to the People’s Democratic Party, where he won his re-election in 2020.
The state government accused Oshiomhole of masterminding violent demonstrations and protests in the state over a controversial naira swap policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the resulting shortage of new currency on Wednesday.
Obaseki was quoted as alleging that the former governor mobilized thugs to vandalize banks and disrupt the peace of the state over naira shortages.
The state’s Communication and Guidance Commissioner, Chris Nehikhare, said in a statement: “At this stage, we call on security agencies to arrest Adams Oshiomhole for questioning and to hold them accountable for his movement, especially here at the Benin City in recent days. . He deliberately instigated the people’s protest.
“When I initially read on social media… that Obaseki had ordered the police to arrest me, I laughed a lot.
“First, because Obaseki doesn’t know that he doesn’t have the power to order the arrest of a citizen. And that’s why some people have reservations about what people like Obaseki talk about the state police,” the statement added.
But, Oshiomhole, who is the APC senatorial candidate in Edo North, argued that it was up to law enforcement agencies to investigate anyone they deem to be a person of interest and that if they are found to be ineligible, they may be invited for questioning.
“The police have not generated, and I would be surprised if they have now, to the level of taking orders from a politician who is facing a crisis of confidence and people are rebelling against him,” he added.
Oshiomhole revealed his idea of an ideal political leader and how the government should respond.
“A governor or a leader must be able to win the hearts of his people and speak to them of the bitterness and, above all, give them hope that, whatever the challenges they face, the government is in a position to do something about it. . . This is what the government should do.”
Oshiomhole noted that the protests were part of democratic ideals and denounced the riots that broke out across the state.
He said: “I think Nigerians have the right to protest anything that doesn’t make them happy. But I also want Nigerians to understand that there is a big difference between protests and riots.
“The riot problem is like shooting a gun in a market: you don’t know who it’s going to hit. But when you decide to protest peacefully, that is what distinguishes a free people from slaves,” he said.