By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN CITYâ€”THE political tension in Edo State heightened yesterday, when suspected political thugs set the official office of the Chairman of the Chairman of Etsako West Local Government Council of the state, Mallam Gani Audu on fire.
It would be recalled that Mallam Audu recently defected to the Action Congress, AC, from the PeoplesDemocratic Party, PDP. Also the Toyota Camry belonging to the member representing Akoko Edo constituency one, in the state House of Assembly, Mr Kabiru Adjoto was burnt down by alleged political thugs.
The three offices that were touched in the arson attack on the Council believed to have started at about 12 midnight, included that of the supervisory councilor for health, administrative officers office/establishment and the council’s conference room. The arsonists were believed to have gained entry into the council through a perimeter fence close to the chairmanâ€™s office.
When newsmen visited the scene, it was observed that the suspects gained entry into the compound after cutting the while a packet of half filled match box was found on the ground around the same spot.
One of the guards in the Council, Lawal Useni told Vanguard that â€œthis wire was not like this before last night.Â You can see that it was cut and put aside for easy access. Power surge could not have sparked off the fire as there was no electricity when it happened.
â€œWe only noticed this fire which started from the chairmanâ€™s office when it had already gotten to the administrative office located opposite the councilâ€™s main gate,â€ he explained.
Reacting, the Council boss, Mallam Audu expressed shock at the incident, saying that the attack on his office was political. â€œWe all know that there is political tension in the state right now but we will live that for the police and other law enforcement agencies to decide.
They set the fire from behind, we are aware that they were targeting the treasury department but thank God we were able to stop it on time,â€ he said.