Attack is due to in-fighting says Obaseki’s aide
By Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
Barely 48 hours after Governor Godwin Obaseki threatened to expel Comrade Adams Oshiomhole from the All Progressives Congress (APC) where he also instructed local government area chairmen of the APC to deal with anybody going contrary “the way we know how to best do” the law chambers of former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Henry Idahagbon was attacked with several persons injured in the complex where his chamber is located and businesses in the complex destroyed.
But Obaseki’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie said the attack was as a result of infighting between the people he referred to as supporters of Oshiomhole and members of the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM).
Idahagbon said that the gunmen who came in three vehicles fired several shots at his office located on Siluko Road, near the popular Oliha Market.
He said that he was in his office, attending to his clients when he was hit by the volley of bullet shots which were aimed at his office, sited on the mid floor of the three-story building.
He said; “I was in my office, attending to some clients when I heard the echoes of gunshots directed at my office. I immediately ran out. Thank God, nobody was injured. The windows were shattered while the building is pockmarked with bullets. I have reported the matter to the police.”
One of the injured who spoke with journalists Mr. Alufa Osayiniye said he was at the office of Idahagbon when people started shouting and the next thing he had were gunshots and decided to bend down as blood came out of his head.
“I was sitting down. I came to see our leader, Hon. Henry. Idahagbon. I was seated there with others when we started hearing them scattering things and shouting”, he said.
Another victim, Bruno Odaro – a surveyor with an office in the building, said some persons with Hilux, branded with government number came “shouting where is Idahagbon, where is Idahagbon and started destroying things, shooting. If I take you upstairs now, you will see things for yourselves and you will see the bullet holes on the wall. It’s so pathetic. We had to run for our dear lives. Coming around after they left, we saw the destruction.”
But a statement by Osagie said the incident was as a result of the infighting in EPM and that it was part of the plot by Oshiomhole to disrupt peace in the state
He said “This incident is the latest in Comrade Oshiomhole’s schemes, as his lieutenants continue to perpetuate violence with his overt and covert support, which will not be tolerated by the Edo State Government.
“We call on the Inspector General of Police and the Presidency to call Comrade Oshiomhole to order. His ambition to become a godfather in Edo State is not worth the safety of the 4 million people in our state.
“The state government restates that it would spare nothing under the laws of our land in dealing decisively with these merchants of violence.”
But reacting to Osagie’s comments, one of the lawmakers elected, Washington Osifo expressed shock with linking the incident to EPM and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call Obaseki to order as he said the governor is bringing the APC to disrepute.
He said “Former president, Goodluck Jonathan, may God bless him, said then that his ambition was not worth the blood of any Nigerian. The question I am asking Godwin Obaseki and his people why does Obaseki think the blood of any Edo man is worth his ambition? Is he going to be there forever?
“And I want to call on President Buhari; President Buhari should not continue to look at the governor of APC disgracing and embarrassing the party. The party is supreme; he should call him to order. Let Governor Obaseki behave well. And I want to call on the Oba of Benin and all traditional rulers in Edo State to call him to order.
Speaking on his mobile phone, the Edo State Police spokesman, Mr. Chidi Nwanbuzor said that he was not aware of the incident, adding:
“I am not aware of any shooting. I am just hearing of it from you for the first time.”