By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – THE crisis in Edo All Progressives Congress (APC) continued on Saturday as several gunshots were fired at the Benin Airport to disperse some youths allegedly mobilised by suspected government agents to boo the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who was in the state to attend the burial party of the mother of the former member that represented Ikpobha-Okha/Egor federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Ehiozuwa Agbonanyinma.
Governor Godwin Obaseki recently warned Oshiomhole not to come to the state to address rallies, this has also been echoed by his deputy, Comrade Philip Shiabu and late last year, Secretary to State Government (SSG) in a statement said Oshiomhole should always inform the state government whenever he s visiting the state.
Some the youths started arriving the airport around 2 pm and when Sunday Vanguard tried to enquire from one of them what was happening, he simply said “na our oga call say make we come here, I never know wetin we wan do”
There was an unusual security check at the entrance into the airport, a police Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) stationed close to the VIP area of the airport and there was also armed security at the exit gate of the airport.
There were heavily armed military, DSS and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) personnel around the premises but shortly after, a group of boys entered the airport from the exit gate and were going straight to the VIP area chanting war songs but while the security men were trying to turn them back, they resisted and that led to sporadic gunshots in the airport that led to people scampering for safety.
The gunshots dispersed the youths and Oshiomhole’s convoy drove out of the airport after he was received by former deputy governor, Dr Pius Odubu, Major General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) and several other chieftains of the APC. Some of the party members accused Obaseki of masterminding the foiled attack on Oshiomhole.
At the venue of the party where most of the guests were not aware of the incident at the airport, Oshiomhole received a loud ovation when he entered the hall.
He later described the woman, Cecila Agbonnayinma as a virtuous woman.
But in a statement yesterday, the state government denied any involvement in the incident.
In a statement, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said “It has come to our notice that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole arrived Benin today and was booed by a crowd of people. We are not directly or remotely involved in the act. We condemn insinuations that the Edo State Government is in any way involved in such an act.
He stressed that the state government will continue to maintain law and order, adding that the government is committed to protecting the rights of all law-abiding citizens in the state.