On Thursday, there was serious tension in Benin, the Edo State capital over a rally that a faction of the All Progressives Congress loyal to its National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, will hold today, TOPNAIJA.NG reports.
The Oshiomhole faction will today (Friday) hold a rally for a former member of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Osagie Eze-Iyamu. Ahead of the rally, 15 people were injured during a clash between supporters of Oshiomhole and those of the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
The APC in Edo State had, last month, been factionalised with one group loyal to Oshiomhole and the other backed by Obaseki.
The Oshiomhole faction led by Col David Imuse (retd.), said Friday’s rally was being organised by the party to receive the PDP candidate in the 2016 governorship election, Ize Iyamu.
But there was confusion over the rally on Thursday. Earlier on Wednesday, there was a letter dated 11th December, which was, addressed to Oshiomhole. The letter stated that the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had granted the APC faction the permission to hold the rally.
The letter was titled, “Re-Request for the deployment of police officers to provide security for the All Progressives Congress, APC, rally at Garrick” and signed by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, Principal Staff Officer to the IGP.
The letter read: “I am directed by the Inspector General of Police to extend his warm compliments and acknowledge receipt of your Excellency’s letter of 10th December, 2019 on the above underlined subject.
“I am to respectfully inform your Excellency that the Inspector General of Police has approved the request and has directed the commissioner of police Edo State Command to provide adequate security for the event as requested.”
But the governor said he was not aware of the rally. Similarly, the APC factional chairman on the side of Governor, Mr Anselm Ojezua, said the state governor and other leaders of the party were not aware of the purported declaration rally.
Shootings in Benin, thugs block Oshiomhole’s house roads
But thugs on Thursday took over the Benin Airport road shooting sporadically. Bonfires were observed at strategic places in Benin City, while roads leading to the residence of the national party chairman were blocked by heavy duty vehicles.
It took Oshiomhole and other members of the NWC over one hour to get to his residence after soldiers came to disperse the armed thugs.
15 injured as Oshiomhole, Obaseki supporters clash
There was a clash between Oshiomhole and Obaseki factions at the airport road.
No fewer than 15 people were injured during the clash, which occurred about 5pm when Oshiomhole, who arrived in Benin on Thursday, was leaving the airport for his house.
It was learnt the clash started around the APC secretariat on the airport road, where Obaseki supporters were meeting.
A Benin resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “When Oshiomhole and his supporters were coming from the airport, Obaseki group thought they were coming to dislodge them from the secretariat. It was at that point that the clash started and 15 people were injured.”
The deputy governor later visited the injured people who were receiving treatments at the Edo Specialist Hospital, Benin at 10pm on Thursday.
Oshiomhole, who reacted while addressing party members, said, “I know you are hurt with what we are passing through here but I want to plead with you don’t be provoked. Any reasonable party leader will be happy to welcome people from another party into his party.
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