Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has accused the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, of mobilising thugs to attack him last weekend during the convocation of Edo University, Iyamho.
At a news briefing on Sunday evening in his Abuja residence, Oshiomhole maintained that he was surprised that Governor Obaseki who was not among the dignitaries he invited for lunch in his house could lead thugs to his house, arguing that villagers angered by his action merely reacted.
He still insisted that the deputy governor, Comrade Philip Shuaibu, orchestrated the whole incident, displaying video evidences of how he stormed the convocation venue with thugs and motorcycle operators.
He absolved himself of sponsoring attacks on guests whom he had invited, stressing that it was unthinkable that he would attack his own guests.
“I decided that I should use this medium to speak on the unfortunate incident that happened in my community on Saturday after the convocation ceremony at the Edo University.
“Like I already directed my press secretary to do yesterday, obviously it was my decision to invite the chancellor and his entourage including His Royal Majesties, Oba Akiolu, Oba Otudeko and other dignitaries.
“I personally invited them to join me for lunch which they graciously accepted and so it was unthinkable that I would invite people for lunch and I would make arrangements to disrupt or prevent my guests from coming to my house. So, any suggestion that I had an idea of what happened, nothing can be farther from the truth.
“When I discovered that something had gone wrong, I went to the gate and by then they had gone. I tried to speak with the governor. I called him, the phone rang out but at least I was able to speak with the chancellor and his wife and I am happy that they fully understood.
“However, this whole thing was unfortunate because it was organised by the state government.
“By Thursday evening – and you can crosscheck with the IGP – I had information that the deputy governor asked some people to organise 1,000 people to the university community.
“The whole idea was for them to boo me and celebrate it in the media that the comrade-chairman was booed in his own community. The CBN governor who delivered the convocation lecture was also a witness.
“The CBN governor was not invited to address a rally, he was invited to deliver a convocation lecture and he wasn’t going to talk to those thugs who were wearing all kinds of inscriptions. They didn’t come for a political rally.
“I conveyed the message to the IGP to prevent thugs being imported to the place by the deputy governor. Some, few minutes later the governor himself arrived and Emefiele went to him and said to him, ‘what are these people doing here?’
“He said Mr. Governor, if those people were there, he wasn’t going to deliver the convocation lecture because he didn’t come to do politics; he just came to perform a normal intellectual activity which was the convocation lecture.
“The governor promised to get the people out of the university. You can imagine, it is easier to mobilise thugs into a place but it is far more difficult to demobilise them. So, we had to meander into the auditorium where the lecture was to be delivered and of course, you could hear all sorts of slogans and counter slogans.
“This was exactly what they had planned and the whole idea was they would have their cameras waiting. As I step out, people will be booing me and the media will report that Oshiomhole booed when he attended the convocation ceremony. That was the whole idea,” he said.
The former Edo state governor, who argued that he has no reason wage relentless fight against the governor, said that as a two-time governor of the state, he can never govern the state again, wondering why the series of attacks on him.
He also disclosed that he has no issue with the governor, explaining how he had done his best in reconciling Obaseki with aggrieved stakeholders in the state.