By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—POLITICAL tension in Edo State heightened last Monday as suspected political thugs attacked the Chief Whip of Etsako Central legislative arm, Mr Peter Agabi, and abandoned him in the pool of his blood.

The Appeal Court had last week ordered a re-run election for State House of Assembly seat in Etsako Central local government area and ever since the court ruling, there had been several clashes between supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Action Congress (AC) in the area.

Agabi, a PDP councillor representing ward 2, the ward of the PDP House of Assembly candidate for the forthcoming re-run election, Mr Chris Umogbai, was said to have been attacked at about 7pm last Monday, with his head and right leg broken.

When newsmen visited the victim at a private hospital at Auchi, he was still in coma, after undergoing surgery in the head.

His wife, who wept uncontrollably, and the PDP in the state, through a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Chief Nosa Adams, accused AC members in the area of perpetrating the act. They also called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ogbonna Onovo, to investigate the matter.

A Chieftain of the PDP, Mr Ken Imasuagbon, who was also one of the PDP leaders at the hospital, described the attack as wicked and unacceptable.

He accused AC of unleashing mayhem on persons who refused to decamp to its fold.
But the AC, through its Publicity Secretary, Reti Uzzi, described the allegation as “arrant nonsense.”

He said:  “In AC, we believe in one man, one vote and not violence. It is unfortunate that it happened but I want to tell you that the incident has nothing to do with AC. We are peace loving people and from records, we all know who are the champions of violence.”

But the PDP stated that  “though the victim is currently receiving treatment in one of the hospitals in the area, you will be shocked that as at this moment, the police appears helpless as they are not only delaying investigation, but have made no arrest.

“We are reliably informed that the AC-led government had started moving arms into Fugar and its environs to be used to cause mayhem during the forthcoming House of Assembly election re-run that is scheduled to take place in a few weeks.”

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