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Caught in the Act: Police Arraign Olu Martins, Edo PDP Campaign Spokesman, Over Inciting Video - TELL Magazine

Caught in the Act: Police Arraign Olu Martins, Edo PDP Campaign Spokesman, Over Inciting Video

Olu Martins
Olu Martins

The Director of Publicity of the Asue Ighodalo Campaign Organisation, Olu Martins, has been charged to court by the Edo State Police Command for allegedly threatening political opponents as shown in a recent viral video. Ighodalo is the candidate of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the September 21, 2024, governorship election in the state

Recall that Martins, who claimed to be a pastor, was arrested on Sunday by the police, after being seen in a viral video threatening those defecting to the opposition parties from the PDP. Addressing some coordinators of the campaign organisation at an undisclosed location, the Ighodalo Campaign spokesperson was heard galvanising them to, among other things, remove campaign materials of the Labour Party candidate, Olumide Akpata.

He was seen saying: “Those who leave the party (defectors) create vacancy. The one we can beg, we will beg; the ones we can’t beg, when we meet them in a corner, we’ll beat them (sorry I am a pastor). How did Akpata banner get to Ring Road? Can you put the banner of another party like that in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos where Tinubu is? Where MC Oluomo is?

“From the days of John the Baptist, the kingdom suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Who does not know will know, and who does not know will kpeme”.

Briefing journalists on this development on Tuesday at the state police headquarters, Benin, the Commissioner of Police, Funsho Adegboye, described the viral video as inciting, and warned political actors to play by the rules of the game, and avoid inflammatory language that could cause public unrest. Adegboye said the police decided to resolve the viral video in court to serve as deterrent to other political actors who may be tempted to follow the same line of action.

According to him, “Recently, there was something going viral and we saw the statement like something that may mar the electioneering process and so he was invited to serve as a deterrent to others of like-mind. We decided that the issue will be settled in the court. That is the situation now, and I want to use the opportunity to plead with political gladiators in the electioneering that everybody should play by the rules.

“Electioneering is supposed to be something glamorous; something interesting, and something to encourage our educated young ones that may be interested in politics, not the type that will create tension in the land or teach people how to live untoward. I want to say that we are not politically biased. I want to say it again, that we will allow a level playing ground. But people should not heat-up the polity as the election is coming up. Inciting violence is a serious crime; it is in our criminal code. It is an offence that is also in the Electoral Act”.

On the menace of cultism in the state, Adegboye noted that it is a criminal offence that attracts severe punishment and warned youths to desist from it.

In a similar vein, the Commissioner said the police command was aware of the protest in Uromi over alleged involvement of some indigenes, including traditional rulers, in kidnapping.

Adegboye said “We got wind of this thing you mentioned, but it is under secret investigation. We know about it; even as I am speaking to you, Uromi youths are on the streets protesting an alleged involvement of indigenes, including the traditional ruler. We are not taking it with a pinch of salt. Whoever that is involved will be dealt with, and he or she would face the wrath of the law. Soon, you will hear from us.

“We have been moving round Edo State, and going by our discoveries from those liberated, those kidnappers are not those we call the herdsmen, but our locals are seriously involved in the kidnapping. We have been going round to sensitise our people that we have to be very careful. Before, if you ask a victim, he will say it is herdsmen. The involvement of herdsmen in those areas is minimal”.

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