The Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and Chancellor of the Edo University, Iyahmo, Dr. Aderemi Makanjuola, escaped injuries by a whisker on Saturday, as they were attacked by thugs at the residence of former Governor of Edo State and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
The governor and the other guests had attended the maiden convocation ceremony of the Edo University, Iyahmo, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State.
An eyewitness to the fracas said that the Oba of Lagos and the governor had gone to Comrade Oshiomhole’s house to honour the former governor’s invitation for a lunch after the ceremony at the university.
He said “The former governor’s house is just opposite the university. Governor Obaseki, the Oba of Lagos and other guests had gone to Oshiomhole’s house for lunch when they were attacked by thugs led by one Romeo, said to be one of Oshiomhole’s cousins.”
It took the intervention of the governor’s security to prevent a blood bath as several vehicles were smashed by the thugs.
While leaving the venue, the governor stood journalists that the incident was regrettable.
“It is really unfortunate that we can’t feel safe at the house of our national chairman.
“I am not sure that if I went to the house of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democractic Party, they would attack me the way they did in the house of our chairman.
“It is really unfortunate that the thing has degenerated to this extent but we will continue to pursue peace and we cannot afford to lose the gains of the last three years,” he said.
However, Oshiomhole said he was not behind the attack.
He blamed Deputy Governor Phillip Shaibu, whom he accused of hiring the thugs that caused the mayhem.
A statement by Oshiomhole’s spokesman, Simon Ebegbulem, said the APC national chairman had to for the venue of the convocation on Thursday for fear of attack.
He alleged that the deputy governor brought 200 thugs and Okada riders into the community on Friday, and tried to get them into the venue of the convocation.
“Security operatives accosted them at the gate and refused them entrance. The thugs started threatening the security operatives who insisted the deputy governor can enter the venue but they will not allow the thugs to gain access.
“Following their threats the security operatives tear gassed the thugs and the deputy governor. The thugs were dispersed while the deputy governor joined other dignitaries at the venue. This created tension already in the small community.
“However, after the event, Comrade Oshiomhole invited the Oba of Lagos, the Chancellor and others for lunch at his country home which is right opposite the university. Consequently, he left instruction at the gate that he was expecting these respected leaders.
“So when the visitors came, the governor drove in a bus with other officials but following the incident that occurred earlier where thugs sponsored by the deputy governor invaded the university, Iyamho youths barricaded the gate of the national chairman with a view to protecting him against any harm.
“Unfortunately, these youths sighted Andrew Momodu, Osaigbovo Iyoha in the bus which conveyed the governor to Oshiomhole’s residence. They decided to stop them from entering the compound because these were the same people who led the thugs that attacked Oshiomhole’s residence in Benin City penultimate week.
“While this confusion was on, the thugs brought by the deputy governor started destroying the vehicles belonging to Oshiomhole’s kinsmen. I want to state clearly that the vehicles destroyed were not in the convoy of the governor. The thugs targeted the vehicles belonging to Oshiomhole’s relations and friend and destroyed them. Thank God for the intervention of soldiers and other security operatives who came to restore peace.
“This would not have happened if not for the thugs who invaded the community loyal to the deputy governor.
“However, Comrade Oshiomhole expresses his sincere apologies to the governor, the revered Oba of Lagos and the Chancellor over the unfortunate incident,” he stated.