…as Oshiomhole, Police, others urge Osakpanwan to surrender
BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN – HELL was let loose Wednesday, when youths stormed the ancestral home of the embattled former Youth Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and suspended Chairman of the Edo State Task Force on Anti Pipeline Vandalization, Mr Osakpanwa Eriyo, following the murder of two youths at the early hours of Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Wednesday, visited the homes of the two youths who were shot dead by thugs allegedly loyal to Mr Osakpanwa and disclosed that the he had ordered the Director of the State Security Service (SSS) and the state Police Commissioner to investigate the matter properly and bring the culprit to book.
The state ACN, through its Chairman, Mr Thomas Okosun, disclosed that the party had expelled Eriyo from the party and vowed that “we will not tolerate any form of hooliganism from any party member”.
Also, the Edo state Police Command, also disclosed that ten persons have been arrested over the killing with the police urging Mr Eriyo to come out of hiding with a view state his involvement in the matter.
The Oba of Benin, Oba Erediauwa, had earlier placed a curse on Mr Eriyo, after the latter allegedly assaulted the son of the Oba and Chairman of the Oredo Local Government Council, Prince Ekpen Erediauwa in a meeting of leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oredo Local Government Council weekend.
Vanguard learnt that the angry youths, who protested last Monday in solidarity with Prince Erediauwa, were further incensed with the killing of two youths at Lagos Street Tuesday, allegedly by thugs loyal to Eriyo, stormed Eriyo’s ancestral home and set the place ablaze.
They vowed to fish out Eriyo from wherever he was hiding to ensure he was prosecuted. When newsmen visited the scene located at Ekpenede, Ogbe quarters Benin City, the building was razed down. A lady, who identified her self as Priscilla, narrated the incident to Vanguard.
According to her,:“ I run a shop in the building. My mother alerted me that there was crisis in Mission road that I should close shop. Only for me to come back and meet the entire building razed.
I could not recover any thing including machines worth over hundred thousand and cloths.
We have Hausa people who also stay in the building. Every thing was destroyed because people were even scared to pack their things when the youths came.
“They tied red band, stormed the house with fuel and fire and set the place ablaze while chanting war songs” she stated.
Oshiomhole who spoke during the visit to residence of Chief Arala Osula and the deceased families, said: “I am opposed to violence. I insist that anyone involved in it must be brought to justice.
Yesterday, I ordered the police that they must go and effect the arrest of the perpetrators and prosecute whosoever is involved, particularly when it happened in broad daylight. They are not unknown persons. The Police must identify them and bring them to justice. They would be tried.”
Oshiomhole expressed disgust at the antics of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in seeking to exploit a sad and unfortunate incident for political advantage.
He said: “As you know, these are political times and our achievements in the state is outstanding that our political opponent, the PDP are worried, particularly as elections are approaching and they are latching onto the unfortunate incident that requires all responsible men and women of goodwill to thoroughly show concern.
But for them, it is an opportunity to play politics with the life of the people, I think this is wrong, it is condemnable. We must not play politics with this issue”.
He directed that all activities of the state chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), relating to the collection of revenue must be stopped “until we clean up these things and agree on the rules of the game.
“I offer my condolences to you and members of your family and I will take steps to assist you. No assistance will bring the dead back to life but at least to show that government sympathises with you in your moment of grief and convey to members of your family my deep regret on the unfortunate incident and I assure you that all the criminals will be brought to book”, he assured