Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Chairman of Estako Central local government, Mr. John Akhigbe, and the lawmaker representing Estako Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Johnson Oghuma, have traded blames over attacks on some members of the All Progressives Congress in the locality.
More than seven persons were reportedly injured and hospitalised after the attack which took place in Fugar during a meeting.
Speaking to journalists in Benin City, Akhigbe alleged that Hon. Oghuma mobilised thugs with N300,000 from Anegbete and Ogbonna communities to Fugar.
He vowed that the attack on APC members in the area would not stop them from working for the re-election of Governor Godwin Obaseki, adding that those fighting the governor do not have electoral value.
Commenting on his suspension from the APC, Akhigbe said those that carried out the suspension were PDP members who just decamped to the party and aided by Hon. Oghuma.
“Can a non-party member suspend a party member? I know those who are APC members, those who decamped to PDP before 2016 governorship election in the state have not returned as far as I am concerned.
“They cannot assume in their bedroom that they are now members of the party.
“Oghuma is in the same unit with me; the votes from one of my units are more than the two units of Oghuma’s. He cannot win any election without my support.
“Oghuma sent them N300, 000 to organize thugs from Annegbete and Ogbonna community. The moment I entered the venue of the meeting, one Aloye shouted attack him; they were all armed.
“This was how they inflicted me with injury with a plastic chair, and moments later, they started throwing stones and broke bottles at the venue of the meeting,” Akhigbe said.
In his reaction, Hon Oghuma who spoke on phone, denied sending thugs to attack Akhigbe, whom he accused of sponsoring thugs to attack APC members with guns, cutlass and other weapons.
The lawmaker said he had spent over N700,000 to pay bills for the treatment of the wounded APC members, explaining that he had been hospitalised and was in clutches over a minor accident he was involved in.
“I have not been home for a long time. I did minor surgeries and couldn’t have send thugs to attack Akhigbe.
“It was Akhigbe that brought thugs to beat up our members. The police in the area did not do anything. I am a leader representing three local government areas. Akhigbe wanted to show to Obaseki that he is powerful,” Oghuma said.