Tony Osauzo, Benin
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, last night apologised to the governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu and other guests over the attack on them by hoodlums, blaming the incident on the state deputy governor, Philip Shaibu.
The full text of Oshiomole’s explanation of the incident issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, reads.
“The incident that occurred at the gate of the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s Iyamho country home was unfortunate and the national chairman expresses his apologies to the governor, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, and Chancellor of the Edo University, Iyahmo, Dr. Screen I Makanjuola whom he holds in high esteem.
“But I want to state that the people who unleashed the mayhem on the vehicles were the thugs who invaded the university community on the orders of the deputy governor of the state, Philip Shaibu.
“The tension in the community started last Friday when the deputy governor imported thugs into the community with a view to intimidate political opponents. In fact the Central Bank of Nigeria governor who delivered a lecture at the convocation ceremony that Friday insisted that the thugs who were disturbing the public must stop the noise making before he could commence his lecture. Security agents helped to ensure peace before the event started. As a matter of fact, Comrade Oshiomhole left the event through the back so as to avoid being attacked by the thugs who laid siege at the entrance gate of the university.
“Then today (Saturday) which was the main event, the governor, the National Chairman of APC, Comrade Oshiomhole and other guests were already inside the hall when at about 11:30am, the deputy governor stormed the university with over 200 okada riders and thugs. Security operatives accosted them at the gate and refused them entrance. The thugs started threatening the security operatives who insisted the deputy governor can enter the venue but they will not allow the thugs to gain access.
“Following their threats the security operatives tear-gassed the thugs and the deputy governor. The thugs were dispersed while the deputy governor joined other dignitaries at the venue. This created tension already in the small community.
“However, after the event, Comrade Oshiomhole invited the Oba of Lagos, the Chancellor and others for lunch at his country home which is right opposite the university. Consequently, he left instruction at the gate that he was expecting these respected leaders. So when the visitors came, the governor drove in a bus with other officials but following the incident that occurred earlier where thugs sponsored by the deputy governor invaded the university, Iyamho youths barricaded the gate of the national chairman with a view to protecting him against any harm.
“Unfortunately, these youths sighted Andrew Momodu, Osaigbovo Iyoha in the bus which conveyed the governor to Oshiomhole’s residence. They decided to stop them from entering the compound because these were the same people who led the thugs that attacked Oshiomhole’s residence in Benin City penultimate week.
“While this confusion was on, the thugs brought by the deputy governor started destroying the vehicles belonging to Oshiomhole’s kinsmen. I want to state clearly that the vehicles destroyed were not in the convoy of the governor. The thugs targeted the vehicles belonging to Oshiomhole’s relations and friends and destroyed them. Thank God for the intervention of soldiers and other security operatives who came to restore peace.
“This would not have happened if not for the thugs who invaded the community loyal to the deputy governor.
“However, Comrade Oshiomhole expresses his sincere apologies to the governor, the revered Oba of Lagos and the chancellor over the unfortunate incident”.
But the Chief Press Secretary to Edo State deputy governor, Musa Ebomhiana, has denied allegation that his boss, Comrade Philip Shaibu, caused the mayhem in Iyamho.
“The Deputy Governor could not have caused the unfortunate incident that happened this evening. The governor, his deputy, the Oba of Lagos and their entourage were at the gate of the National Chairman of our great party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to pay him the usual homage since they were in his domain.
“Surprisingly, the large crowd that gathered at the gate brutally attacked the convoy, destroying three cars in the process. The convoy had to quickly turn and returned to the varsity campus. So, how did the DG cause it? Could he have arranged his own attack? In fact, they were there on the invitation of the comrade himself,” Ebomhiana said.