Suspected PDP thugs are being accused of abducting supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday night in Edo State .
The APC supporters were abducted along with two campaign vehicles belonging to the state ruling party after a governorship rally in Illushi, near Ubiaja, Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo.
While three of the abducted, including a popular entertainer, Maleke escaped, others and the vehicles were yet to be found as at the time of this report.
Maleke’s escape did not however come easy as he, and Jonathan Orukpe, personal driver to the deputy governorship candidate, and Sani Kamil, the Sound man, were seriously beaten and their wind screen of the vehicle smashed.
“We were beaten, molested and almost thrown into the river Niger by some of the thugs, who repeatedly shouted at us for daring to come to the area, which they claim have been secured for pastor, PDP governorship candidate.
“Before they started, the thugs, one of whom is called Lucky, took away our phones, and asked us to sit on the floor.
”It was when they heard that security agencies have been mobilized that they left and a woman from the community, assisted us to escape,” explained Maleke
Trouble began at the campaign ground when some of the PDP thugs infiltrated the crowd and started breaking vehicle glasses and chanting PDP slogans as they also held the poster of the opposition candidate, Pastor Ize Iyamu.
The press crew vehicle and some journalists were molested, while some vehicles of the APC, that packed some distance from the campaign ground due to the terrain, hurriedly left for fear of being set on fire.
The candidate of the APC, Mr Godwin Obaseki has described the incident as unfortunate and desperation on the part of the PDP.
He said the matter has been reported at the Divisional Police Headquarters at Ubiaja, Esan South East.
He however said that in spite of the intimidation, harassment and deliberate provocation, the ruling party remains undettered, and will go on with it peaceful campaign.
“We had a peaceful rally at Illushi and part of my convoy was waylaid and supporters abducted, taken into the bush, beaten, molested and some of them have been gravely hurt. We do not expect this level of violence from the PDP supporters at Illushi.
“We have come to report the case at the Divisional Police Headquarters at Ubiaja and we hope that the authority will carry out the necessary investigation and get to the bottom of the matter.
”We however appeal to our supporters to be calm. We know that the PDP has perfected plans to intimidate us, perpetuate violence but we will not be dettered, because we are lawful and peaceful loving people.
“We seek peace and we preach peace, we want to have a very peaceful election, so no matter the amount of intimidation and provocation, we will not be deterred,” declared Obaseki.