Reacting to the assault on National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in the state at the weekend, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki said the pandemonium and crisis were caused by the former governor “who characteristically breaches protocol when he visits the state.”
He said the most recent incident was the fracas that broke out on Saturday, February 22, 2020, when Comrade Oshiomhole visited Benin City without informing the government or other relevant authorities.
The Governor said that the National Chairman had sustained his assault on public peace and safety in Edo State by violating protocol when “he visits the state thereby causing crisis and violence.”
Obaseki, in a statement, by his Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the state government would not be held responsible for the consequences of the former governor’s indiscretion and unruly behaviour.
“On Saturday, February 22, 2020, there was sudden tension in Benin metropolis which resulted in large, unruly crowds gathering in strategic points and military personnel shooting sporadically, thrusting the city into pandemonium.
“The Edo State Government later learnt that the chaos resulted from the visit of the suspended National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who characteristically breaches the protocol which requires that when a person of public importance is coming into a state, he should do the courtesy to inform government and other relevant authorities of his impending visit.
“Suffice to say that the Edo State Government had absolutely no idea that a person of such public status as a former governor of the state was visiting,” Osagie said.
He added it is unfortunate that a former Governor who should understand basic security and protocol standards will willfully and repeatedly violate them and cause tension and severe threat to public safety and security.
The Governor noted that a few months ago, when Comrade Oshiomhole caused tension in the state due to the same behavior, the state government had reported formally to the Inspector General of Police and the Department of State Services about the avoidable carnage, destruction of property and severe injuries to many persons as well as general unrest which resulted from Comrade Oshiomhole’s abuse of protocol and his penchant for crisis and violence.
“Apparently, Comrade Oshiomhole has continuously defied all efforts by security agencies across the country, including the Inspector-General of Police, and the Department of State Services (DSS), among others, to ensure peace, therefore posing a severe threat not only to Edo State but the country at large.
“We, however, want to warn that since Oshiomhole has decided to carry on with his character of impunity, disrespect for processes and continuous stirring of crisis and disruption of peace in the state, the Edo State Government would not be responsible when he reaps the consequences of his unruly behavior,” Osagie added.
The Governor however called on the Presidency and all security authorities in the country to prevail on Comrade Oshiomhole to discontinue these acts of impunity, in the interest of ordinary law-abiding Edo people.
He restated government’s resolve to preserve public safety and order and call on Edo people to eschew violence while going about their lawful businesses.