There was pandemonium in Benin on Saturday when thugs suspected to be loyalists to the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Ize-iyamu Osagie and that of Governor Godwin Obaseki, clashed around the palace of the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II. It was learnt that there was exchange of gunfire by the supporters of the […]
There was pandemonium in Benin on Saturday when thugs suspected to be loyalists to the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Ize-iyamu Osagie and that of Governor Godwin Obaseki, clashed around the palace of the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II.
It was learnt that there was exchange of gunfire by the supporters of the two sides, leading to destruction of vehicles while several persons sustained injuries.
Obaseki and other PDP governors who were in the state for the flagged off of his re-election were at the palace on a courtesy visit to the Oba of Benin when the incident happened.
It was gathered that the crisis started when supporters of Obaseki were chanting his slogan while those loyal to the APC candidate who were at the palace waiting for some APC chieftains allegedly invited to a function at the palace were also chanting slogans disparaging the governor.
It was further gathered that after the governor and his entourage had left the palace, the loyalists from the two sides engaged in a fight, with the APC who were more in number having the upper hand.
It was learnt that the supporters of the PDP ran to the Ogbe Stadium venue of the campaign flag-off and informed their members who stormed the ring road area and engaged their APC counterparts.
Source told our correspondent that several people were injured on both sides while many vehicles belonging to PDP supporters were destroyed.
It however took the intervention of the police to bring the situation under control.
- Edo govt condemns ‘attacks on guests
The Edo State government condemned what it said was an “attack on its guests, notably governors and other Very Important Persons (VIPs), on Saturday, at the Oba’s Palace in Benin City, prequel to the flag-off of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s campaign for re-election.”
In a statement, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the thugs were sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC), its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu and the sacked National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who he said had in the past few days engaged thugs to cause mayhem in the state.
According to him, “We are appalled by the deployment of thugs to the sacred grounds of the Oba Palace by the APC, Ize-Iyamu and Oshiomhole… to harass guests who are in the state for the flag-off of Governor Obaseki’s campaign and had visited the palace to pay obeisance to His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin.
“While we respect the boundaries of politics as it relates to the palace, it is reprehensible that the APC, its candidate and their enablers would sponsor thugs to desecrate the palace, which is a clear case of desperation to score cheap points.
“This conduct is not a trait of Edo people and is condemned in the strongest possible terms, as we are courteous and welcoming to guests. It is obvious that these persons were mobilised for this task by those who have no regard for the palace nor want the progress and development of the state.”
Responding, Oshiomhole’s spokesperson, Victor Oshioke said Oshiomole has no hand in the violence.
He said Oshiomole is a man of peace and can’t sponsor violence, adding that he has no reason to sponsor violence in the state.
“Oshiomhole is a man of peace, since he arrived Benin he has not made any speech indicating violence. It is the governor’s people that have been saying they will deal with anybody who come to the state for campaign.”
Efforts to get reaction from Ize-iyamu’s were not successful as calls and text message placed on his spokesperson, John Mayaki’s cell phone were not answered.
Also, the publicity secretary of the APC, Christ Azebamwan, did not answer calls put across to him.