Not less than 15 persons were injured yesterday as supporters of the two factions existing in Edo State All Progressives Congress clashed as a result of the controversies surrounding the planned mega rally to receive members of the Peoples Democratic Party led by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. The victims were hospitalised at the new Central Hospital.
Meanwhile, there was heavy presence of suspected thugs and security at the state Secretariat of the APC along Airport Road last night as Vanguard gathered that the beefing up was to prevent the taking over of the Secretariat by the acting chairman, Col David Imuse (rtd).
The deputy governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu led other government dignitaries to visit the injured who reportedly got injured when they clashed with supporters of Oshiomhole who arrived late yesterday evening for the rally.
Oshiomhole late yesterday called for calm among party faithful while he said he would assesses the true position of things whether the rally would hold or not.
Addressing party faithful that followed him from the airport to his residence which took almost two hours, Oshiomhole said he was shocked that leaders of a party led by the governor would be resisting influx of members into the APC.
He appealed to members of the party in Edo state to remain calm following the incident.
Oshiomhole said: “I know you are hurt with what we are passing through here but I want to plead with you don’t be provoked. Any reasonable party leader will be happy to welcome people from another party into his party.
“Particularly when those coming were people who fought us in the last election. And when you look at the margin then it was like 50,000. So we are in Benin to welcome them but you could see how their thugs are unleashing mayhem on people.
“But I want to tell you,APC is our house and we will not destroy it neither are we going to allow any body destroy it. We don’t want any one to be killed so please don’t fight back. Those who know me know that I am not a coward , I am not afraid of a fight. But I will not and I urge you to remain calm.
“We are getting conflicting report now, the IG ordered the Commissioner if Police to give us protection for our rally. But we are being told now that the same authority said it has been cancelled . But I am going to make calls and find out what the problem is, if the police is saying they cannot protect a political rally.
“I will find out and let you people know. But even if they said we cannot hold it, please don’t fight anybody. I will meet them and find out when it will hold. But the rally will still hold some day. We have the right of association. This is not the first time we are seeing situations like this, but I can assure you it will not last forever.
“No condition is permanent. We must do everything to keep APC in Edo State no matter what the devil thinks. APC Is our house so we must resist any temptation to fight back. We must remember that our President Muhammad Buhari is a peaceful man. We must remain peaceful and go home and tell everyone, we remain strong. Nobody can shake our spirit. We will receive our brothers into the party to fortify our party”.