2023: Drama in Benin as Obaseki-led faction orders Police to arrest journalists covering Orbih-led delegates’ senatorial primary election
● Ogbeide-Ihama, Mike Onolemenme, Paschal Ugbome are Orbih-inspired PDP senatorial candidates
●Obaseki faction produces Matthew Iduoriyekenmwen, Clifford Ordia, Victoria Edelokun
Three journalists- Deborah Coker of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Sunny Ohioze Inarumen of African Independent Television (AIT) and Osamuyi Ogbomo, a Cameraman with Independent Television (ITV) – were on Monday arrested by a combined team of the vigilance group in Edo State and the police for covering a primary election organized by a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) believed to be loyal to the National Vice Chairman, South-South, Chief Dan Orbih.
The journalists, who were covering the exercise (parallel to Obaseki faction’s) in Edo South senatorial district, were taken to Oko Central police station, where they were detained for hours and released after they had written statements.
Inarumen said: “We were in the venue of the primary election when armed men entered the place and started shooting and forced us into their vehicle and drove us to the police station. They were asking us why we went to cover an illegal gathering.”
Corroborating the story, Coker said they were arrested by a combined team of Edo Security Network, men of the State Vigilance group and Police.
“Even after we told them that we are journalists doing our constitutional duty they insisted that we are providing coverage for an illegal primary and that is why they took us to Oko Police station.”
In the melee, the chairman of Ward Five of Oredo PDP, Tunde Igbinoba was reportedly shot.
His real condition could not be ascertained as of the time of publishing this report.
Several vehicles were reportedly destroyed by suspected thugs as they shot sporadically close to the venue of the primary election.
Faction of the Orbih’s delegates held its primary election at an event centre by the Airport gate while Obaseki’s delegates held theirs at the Ogbemudia stadium.
Meanwhile, at the indoor sports hall of the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium where Obaseki’s delegates of the PDP converged, the former Majority leader of Edo state House of Assembly, Hon Matthew Iduoriyekenmwen emerged as the candidate defeating the incumbent Senator Mathew Uroghide.
Hon Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, according to a report by infopowerng emerged the candidate at the Dan Orbih-led delegates’ primary election.
In Edo Central Senatorial district, former Minister of Works, Arc. Mike Onolememen, picked the PDP ticket for the Orbih faction while Sen Clifford Ordia, the two-term, incumbent senator emerged in the Obaseki- led faction.
In Edo North, Hon Pascal Ugbome emerged the candidate of the Orbih- led primary while Mrs Victoria Edelokun won the ticket of Obaseki-led delegates’ primary poll.