Benin Airport – APC Members Disagree Over Protest Against Oshiomhole
- Oshiomhole orchestrated the attack, Says APC Chieftain
- Edo government denies involvement
- Obaseki should be called to order, Henry Idahagbon
- The protest cannot stop Oshiomhole, says Samson Osagie
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Adams Oshiomhole had to be secured by security agents at the Benin airport on Saturday.
Protesters who were youths allegedly loyal to the Edo State government was mobilised by one Ebo Stone to the Benin Airport to scare Oshiomhole from landing.
It took the efforts of security agencies comprising of the Department of State Security, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to whisk the APC Chairman away.
Despite the presence of the security agents, the youths could not be stopped from singing in loud voices, a song that portrays Oshiomhole as a corrupt politician.
The APC Chairman who was in Benin on a condolence visit to the departed mother a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. EJ Agbonayinma was received by Dr Pius Odubu, Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu, Hon Samson Osagie, the Factional Edo State Chairman of APC.
Members of the Oshiomhole’s camp of the APC have accused the state governor, Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaiubu of orchestrating the protest.
There has been an internal crisis rocking the Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress as Oshiomhole and his former political son clashed over superiority and control of the state.
A member of the Oshiomhole’s camp, a former member of the House of Representative, Hon. Samson Osagie told NAIJA CENTER NEWS that the protest was organized by one Ebo Stone who he described as a known thug allegedly working for the state government.
Recounting the ordeal, Osagie said “Today Obaseki continued in his desperation to prove a point that he is a demigod in Edo because he is Governor.
“He sanctioned the mobilization of thugs led by one bleaching Ebo Stone to come to the Airport to attack Comrade Adams Oshiomhole National Chairman of APC.
“However, there was a heavy police and army presence at the airport. That did not stop Ebo Stone and his criminal gang from constituting nuisance at the airport. “
The former rep wondered “Why the police could not send these hoodlums out of the airport remains unknown. However, it was learnt that with instructions from above in the State the boys were protected from been driven out of the airport.
“We are still wondering why a State government whose responsibility it is to provide security and welfare for the citizens will be an architect of the kind of brigandage we are experiencing in Edo State. I am sure Edo people cannot wait to have an end to this fascist regime.”
Despite the incident, Osagie assured that Oshiomhole “received a heroic welcome by passers-by on airport road and airport staff including numerous passengers travelling in and out of Benin city.
“Thereafter he was followed by a massive crowd from his residence at Okorotun to Esteem event Centre to pay the last respect to the departed mother of former House of Representatives member and Special Adviser to Hon Speaker house of representatives Hon EJ Agbonayima.
A former Attorney General of the state, Barrister Henry Idahagbon said “I wasn’t there. But the video is out. The government as usual paid youths N3,000 to go to the airport and shout profanities against Oshiomhole. The security agencies were there to escort him and ensure nothing untoward happened”
When asked if the crisis was getting out of hand, Idahagbon replied “The antagonist here is Obaseki. You people should tell him enough is enough.
“His second term ambition has almost destroyed the political fabric of our state. We may not have lost anybody directly, he has definitely spilt blood. He wanted me dead. 29 cartridges were expended when his killer squad came calling in my office”
A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue told NAIJA CENTER NEWS that Oshiomhole stage-managed the entire protest.
According to the source, the APC Chairman orchestrated the protest against himself to prove the Presidency wrong that he has become irrelevant in his state.
“Adams Oshiomhole is desperately seeking to out-show Governor Godwin Obaseki in Edo State, to put a lie to the generally held view in the Presidency and outside Edo State that he has been rendered irrelevant in Edo APC. The truth is that Godwin Obaseki performance has dwarfed Oshiomhole
When asked if he was certain that Oshiomhole planned his own attack, the APC Chieftain said: “Yes, he did in all honesty”.
A message sent to one of the aides of the National Chairman, Victor Oshioke was not replied at the time of filing this report.
However, the state government denied Godwin Obaseki’s involvement in the protest.
According to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, the government said, “It has come to our notice that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole arrived Benin today and was booed by a crowd of people.
“We are not directly or remotely involved in the act. We condemn insinuations that the Edo State Government is in any way involved in such an act.
“The series of anti-Oshiomhole protests across the country in the last couple of days, including those who jeered and booed Comrade Oshiomhole in Benin City, on Saturday has nothing to do with the government in Edo State. Oshiomhole, just like any other law-abiding person is welcome into the state as long as he does not engage in any activity capable of disrupting peace and safety.
“We categorically state that we are not in whatever guise involved with those who engaged in the action against the former governor.”
In a similar defence, TheNation quoted a top Edo government official who pleaded anonymity said Oshiomhole should let Obaseki be, adding that the governor was not involved in the airport incident.
According to the official, “Oshiomhole should leave Obaseki out of his predicament. If Oshiomhole goes to Portharcourt or Bayelsa, you know the reception he will receive.
“Didn’t you see a protest against him in Abuja? Was that also Obaseki? Oshiomhole has general dislike across the country. Oshiomhole’s travail is self-inflicted.”