Tension in Edo as thugs attack Oshiomhole’s house


Adams Oshiomhole

Tension, at the weekend, enveloped Edo State as the political crisis in the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) got messier ahead of 2020 governorship election.

There was an alleged assassination attempt on the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on Saturday night by youths suspected to be political thugs.

It was learnt that the attackers invaded Oshiomhole’s residence on the Okoroutun Road, Government Reservation Area (GRA) in Benin.

A youth group and supporters loyal to Oshiomhole have accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of being the mastermind of the attempt on the life of his predecessor.

It was learnt that the assailants missed their target as Oshiomhole was not at home when they invaded the house.

The group loyal to the former governor also rushed to his house on hearing the news of the invasion.

However, a bloody clash was averted as the two groups did not meet in Oshiomhole’s house.

Also, the Chief of Staff to Obaseki, Hon. Taiwo Akerele, yesterday raised the alarm over alleged attack on him by a chieftain of APC, Tony Adun, popularly known as Kabaka.

Akerele said Adun attacked him on Saturday night inside Protea Hotel, while he was in a meeting with some foreign investors.

But when contacted, Adun denied the allegation.

He said they went to Protea to see Oshiomhole shortly after the attack on his house. 

Adun said he was in his home when he and others received a distress call that some people were mobilising to Oshiomhole’s house.

He said: “We saw them when they were running away from the place before security agencies now came to barricade the street. Protea cannot say that they don’t have CCTV. They should go and play it and see what transpired between us. If there is an attack and attempt of assassination as being alleged, Tony Kabaka will go in for it, but if there is no such attempt, I will sue them.”

The state Commissioner of Police, Danmallam Muhammed, said yesterday that there was no such incident at Oshiomole’s residence.

But the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Oshiomhole, Simon Ebegbulem, alleged that the attackers were sent by Obaseki.

He accused the governor of being desperate to get a second term in office.

Ebegbulem said the attack was neutralised by APC youths who were mobilised to the national chairman’s residence

On his part, the Special Adviser to Governor Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, described the allegation against the governor as false.

Osagie said in a statement that he was not aware of any such attack and there was no information that Oshiomhole was even in town. 

He said: “We have no knowledge of the attack. We have also reached out to the police and they affirmed that they do not know about such an attack.”

Meanwhile, Akerele told journalists that he had arrived Benin from his Igarra country home to hear about the said attack on Oshiomhole.

He said that while in his Igarra home, he discovered that unknown persons entered his room through the ceiling, even as their mission remained unknown.

Akerele said he went to the hotel about 7p.m. for a meeting with some foreign investors and that while the meeting was on, Adun attacked him verbally.

Akerele said that Adun walked towards him, but was restrained by people around.

He said: “I just came from Igarra where I discovered that unknown persons entered my room through the ceiling. I have reported to the police in Igarra and when I came to Benin, I went straight to Protea where I had a meeting with some foreign investors and I experienced the attack.”

It was learnt that the suspected political thugs had gathered around the residence of the APC national chairman, where they chanted anti-Oshiomhole slogan, such as “Oshiomhole ole, Oshiomhole ole.”

They were said to have been dispersed by security agencies.

The road leading to the APC chairman’s residence was closed during the commotion and later re-opened to traffic.

About four police patrol vans were stationed at Oshiomhole’s house as at yesterday morning when our correspondent visited the area.

Oshiomhiole had addressed some of the youth who followed him to his house from Protea Hotel.

He said there was no cause to fear as he only came to Benin to attend a ceremony and rest.

The former governor also urged the youth to ensure there is peace in the country and Edo State.

He said: “Anything that happens anywhere, they say President Muhammadu Buhari. So, we have to help him; we have to help him to secure the whole country. In our state, we must be seen to behave well. If other people are beating drums of war, we will share the powder of peace.

“In moments like this, it is not madness for madness because many of you I see here, in 2007, you were already strong, 2012 during my second term, you were there, 2016, many of you deployed as agents; I used to call you guys our infantry division who protected our votes even when we were in opposition when the Federal Government was by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Now that the Federal Government is APC, we have to take it easy so that there is no breach of peace anywhere in Nigeria and particularly in our state.

“Those people who are looking for trouble, they are like a small mushroom; if you go and take a stick to destroy a mushroom, do you need a stick to do that? How far can a snail travel? If a snail is running, what is the maximum speed of a snail? Are you going to join running after snail?

“I was contesting in 2012, two men wore red and went round town saying I will   not get my second term, that they have declared war on me. I called our women and said ‘go out on white; the red they wore is their blood, the white is our peace.’ From that position till today, by the special grace of God, I am what I am. What God has willed, no man can change it.

“I am very, very happy. There is no one road that I did in this great city that has been washed away; drive on Akpakava, drive on Upper Siluko, drive on Airport Road, Five Junction and other roads. The power of the truth cannot be buried by the combined weapons of the most potent armed forces in the world; the truth is more powerful than the most potent army.”

Meanwhile, APC has condemned the attack on Oshiomhole’s Benin residence by political thugs.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said: “Although, the APC national chairman has rightly called for calm after the apparent attempt on his life, we call on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu and other relevant security outfits to investigate the ugly incident and prosecute the sponsors and attackers.

“In Edo State, just as in any other state, everyone must be free to go about their normal and legitimate activities without harassment, intimidation, threat to life and property.

“It is clear that the sponsors of the attack are bent on causing crisis in the state in pursuit of their desperate and unpopular political interests. Human life is greater than anyone’s political ambition.”

New Telegraph

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