Tony Osauzo, Benin
The crisis in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Edo State chapter, took a violent dimension last Saturday as youths suspected to be thugs allegedly attacked the residence of the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole in the Okorotun area of GRA, Benin City.
Chief Press Secretary to Oshiomhole, Simon Ebegbulem, alleged the attackers were sent by Governor Godwin Obaseki who he claimed was desperate to get a second term . But Special Adviser to Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, dismissed the claim as false. Commissioner of Police, Danmallam Mohammed, also said the incident did not occur in the area where Oshiomhole stays.
As at yesterday morning, about four more police patrol vans had been brought in addition to the one that was always stationed in front the of the house.
Oshiomhiole who later addressed youths who followed him to his house from Protea Hotel, said there was no cause to fear as he only came to Benin to attend a ceremony and rest, urging them to ensure there was peace in the country and the state.
He said the mastermind of the attack were bent on creating a crisis in the state, but lacked the numbers to fight dirty.
“Anything that happens anywhere, they say president so we have to help him, we have to help to secure the whole country and in our state, we must be seen to behave well, if other people are beating drums of war, we will share the powder of peace.
“In moments like this, it is not madness for madness because many of you I see here, in 2007, you were already strong, 2012 during my second term, you were there, 2016, many of you were deployed as agents; I used to call you guys our Infantry Division who protected our votes even when we were in opposition when the federal government was PDP.
“So, now that the Federal Government is APC, we have to take it easy so that there is no breach of peace anywhere in Nigeria and particularly in our state. Those people who are looking for trouble, they are like a small mushroom; if you go and take a stick to destroy a mushroom, do you need a stick to do that? How far can a snail travel? If a snail is running, what’s the maximum speed of a snail? Are you going to join running after snail?
“I was contesting in 2012, two men wore red went round town saying I will not get my second term, that they have declared war on me. I called our women and said go out on white; the red they wore is their blood, the white is our peace. From that position till today by the special grace of God, I am what I am. What God has willed no man can change it.
“I am happy there is no one road that I did in this great city that has been washed away; drive on Akpakava, drive on Upper Siluko, drive on 2nd East Circular, Airport road, Five Junction and other roads; the power of the truth cannot be buried by the combined weapons of the most potent armed forces in the world, the truth is more powerful than the most potent army”, he said
Meanwhile, Chief of Staff to Obaseki, Taiwo Akerele, yesterday alleged that he was attacked by a chieftain of the APC, Tony Adun, popularly known as Kabaka at a hotel in the state capital.
He said he went to the hotel at about 7pm for a meeting with some foreign investors and that while the meeting was on, Kabaka came and first attacked him verbally and was walking towards him when he was restrained by people around.
But Adun denied the allegation. He said they were there to see how Oshiomhole was faring after the attack in his house.
Meanwhile, 11 ward chairmen of the APC have vowed not to endorse Governor Obaseki for a second term until he issues a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of elected members of the state House of Assembly.
Besides, they declared their loyalty to Oshiomhole, reminding the governor that political ‘rascality’ will not earn him a second term but resolution of the crisis rocking the party in the state.