Edo: 4 reporters arrested as PDP holds parallel Senate primaries

d pdp edo primary x x
d pdp edo primary x x

From Tony Osauzo and Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin

Amid heavy downpour, two factions of the Edo State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) held parallel primaries at different locations in the state to elect six candidates to contest election for the three senatorial slots of South, Central and North districts of the state, as four Journalists were arrested by the combined security team for daring to provide media coverage for one of the factions.

Recall that Governor Godwin Obaseki and the South-South Deputy National Vice-Chairman of the party, Chief and Dan Orbih, have been locked in a fierce supremacy battle for the soul of the PDP in the state.

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The four Journalists arrested by state security outfit and the Police, were the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Correspondent, Deborah Coker, African Independent Television cameraman and Reporter, Sunny Ohioze Inarumen and Independent Television and Radio Correspondent, Ogbomo Osamuyi for giving coverage to the faction loyal to the Dan Orbih’s delegates of the party.

Delegates of Orbih’s faction held their primary at an event centre by the Airport gate while Obaseki’s delegates held theirs at Ogbemudia’s stadium.

The Journalists who were carrying out their legitimate duties were arrested and taken to Oko Police Division where they were detained for over four hours after police extracted statements from them.

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The NAN Correspondent, Deborah Coker, who spoke after her release, said they were arrested by a combined team of Edo Security Network, men of the State Vigilante 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 that is why they took us to Oko Police station.”

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Results of the primary from the indoor sports hall of the Dr Samuel Ogbemudia stadium where Obaseki’s delegates of the PDP converged, had the former Majority leader of Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Mathew Iduoriyekemwen defeating the incumbent Senator, Mathew Uroghide to emerge as candidate while Hon. Ogbeide-Ihama emerged the candidate at the Dan Orbih faction.

In Edo Central Senatorial district, former Minister of Works in ex- President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, Dr. Arch. Mike Onolememen, picked the PDP ticket for Edo senatorial district for the Orbih’s faction, while Hon. Clifford Ordia, the two term incumbent senator emerged candidate of the Obaseki’s led faction.

Similarly, in Edo North, Hon. Pascal Ugbome, emerged the candidate of the Orbih’s faction while Mrs Victoria Edelokun won the ticket of Obaseki’s faction in the parallel primaries.