Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Friday, explained why his government denied Peter Obi’s Labour Party (LP) the use of the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium for a rally in the state.
Obaseki said the Edo government received notice 24 hours before the event, adding that the notice for approval arrived too late.
He disclosed this while appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Friday.
According to him, he thought the LP were more serious and expected more from the party.
Obaseki said, “Well, there are several venues in Benin for rallies, I heard that they [Labour Party] applied on Wednesday night to hold a rally at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium on Friday morning, giving us one day’s notice.
“The tracks in that stadium are still under warranty. The pitch has to be maintained in a certain mode. So it is not just another facility you just can go in and use without preparing. If they knew they had a rally on Friday morning, why could not they give more time and notice so we could give them the conditions under which they could use the pitch.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Obaseki’s party, had used the stadium for a rally on October 22.
“The same thing we did to the PDP when they wanted to use the pitch. And the only reason why we allowed the PDP rally was because it was used as an opportunity to commission that facility. Otherwise, most other rallies are held in other large grounds around the city,” Obaseki added.
“I expected more from the Labour Party. I thought they were more serious, you cannot be planning for a rally on a Friday and be giving less than two days.
“I spoke to my friend Peter Obi the night before he told me he was coming to the state, and we offered him all the courtesy, including security and some logistics, but I did not know they were coming for rallies.
“For me, the issues did not even come to me. The people at the sports commission knew what to do, and they did it professionally.”