Tony Osauzo, Benin
The crisis rocking the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has taken a dangerous dimension following the alleged bombing of the private residence of a chieftain of the party, Chief Francis Inegbeneki, in Benin City.
It was learnt that the attackers struck at about 3 am with two hand grenades which resulted in serious damage to his building and a motor vehicle parked in the compound located in the Government Reservation Area of Benin, off Ihama.
No one was hurt in the attack, which news was broken to APC faithful at a rally hosted by Chief Inegbeneki at Opoji, to receive PDP defectors from the five local government areas of Esan Central Senatorial district of the state.
Reacting to the attack, Chief Inegbeneki, who was not at home at the time of the incident, said: “I got that information with rude shock.
“Frankly, I am short of words, it must have been politically motivated. After this successful political rally, I am going to Benin to assess the damage.
Wondering why politics should be taken “this far”, Inegbeneki recalled that only recently the state governor, Godwin Obaseki had been threatening to deal with those opposed to him.
He warned that “for those drumming the music of war they should be prepared to dance to the music.”
Chief Inegbeneki told journalists he suspected the government carried out the attack on his house and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rescue the people from the hands of Obaseki and his deputy, adding “Edo is under siege”.
He said he supports politics of lobbying and urged Obaseki to lobby APC members instead of using force.
“We have said it loud and clear, we are not going to support Obaseki for a second term”, Chief Inegbeneki said.
Also speaking on the attack, Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu described the attackers as cowards.
“Very early this morning around 3 am, they went to Chief Inegbeneki’s house in Benin to throw hand bomb. They threw the first one it did not detonate. They threw the second one and it detonated. Thank God there was nobody in the house.
“If somebody had died, I don’t know what they would have said.
“We have been keeping quiet not because we are afraid, but because we own the house.
“Obaseki said he would destroy the Edo APC, but we would not allow him”, Ize-Iyamu said.
At the rally, hundreds of defectors from the PDP led by Chief Tony Omoaghe, were received into the APC by the acting state chairman, Col. David Imuse, who represented the national chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Among party leaders who attended the rally were six governorship aspirants – Dr. Pius Odubu, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd.)
Others were Engr. Chris Ogiewonyi, Chief Solomon Edebiri and Saturday Uwelekhue.