By Charles Osarumen
The Edo State Government saturday alleged that the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole had been creating tension and unrest in the state to force the authorities to declare a state of emergency.
The state government also condemned the use of explosives and other dangerous weapons at the weekend by some political actors in parts of the state to cause mayhem, endangering the lives of law-abiding citizens of the state in the process.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie made the allegation saturday in response to the bomb explosion that occurred at the private residence of a chieftain of the party, Chief Francis Inegbeneki in Benin City.
The attackers struck at about 3:00 a.m. with two grenades that resulted in major damage to his building and a motor vehicle parked in the compound located off Ihama road in the Government Reservation Area, Benin City, capital.
But Inegbeneki disclosed at a rally held at Opoji, Esan Central Local Government Area (LGA) to receive PDP defectors from the five LGAs that no one was hurt in the bomb attack.
Responding to the bomb attack, the statement said the shameful resort to violence “is the next move by Oshiomhole and his cohorts in the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) to create tension in the state with the intent of forcing the authorities to declare a State of Emergency in Edo State.”
The statement added that the state government was committed to the peace and safety of Edo people, thereby warning those intent on exacerbating tensions in the state to steer clear.
The statement read: “It has come to our notice that explosives and other dangerous weapons were used by some politicians in parts of the state to cause mayhem, endangering the lives of law-abiding citizens of the state in the process.
“The Edo State Government denounces the resort to such desperate and dangerous means for political reasons. This is reprehensible and most condemnable. It runs against the creed of our people to conduct their affairs in a peaceful manner; worse still, employing destructive means in politics is alien to Edo people.
“Intelligence reports available to us indicate that this is the next move by the suspended National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his cohorts in the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) to create tension in the state with the intent of forcing the authorities to declare a State of Emergency in Edo State.”
The statement urged the Presidency and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to call Oshiomhole to order so that the destructive descent to violence does not erode the good legacies that have been built over the years by the APC in Edo State.
Inegbeneki, who was not at home at the time of the incident, said: “I got that information with rude shock. I am short of words, it must have been politically motivated.
“After this successful rally to receive our brothers and sisters coming to join us in APC, I am going to Benin to assess the damage,” the party chieftain said.
Wondering why politics should be taken “this far”, Inegbeneki recalled that only recently the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki had threatened to deal with those opposed to him.
For those beating drums of war, the party chieftain warned that they should be prepared to dance to the music.
Inegbeneki said the governor and his deputy were complicit in the bomb attack on his resident, thereby calling President Muhammadu Buhari to rescue the people of the state.
He said politics should be about lobbying and not forcing, urging the governor and his deputy “to lobby APC members instead of using force. We have said it loud and clear. We are not going to support Obaseki for a second term.”
Also speaking on the attack, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu described the attackers as cowards.
He said: “This morning, they went to Inegbeneki’s house in Benin to throw hand bomb. They threw the first one it did not detonate. They threw the second one, which exploded.
“Thank God there was nobody inside the house. If somebody had died, I don’t know what they would have said. We have been keeping quiet not because we are afraid, but because we own the house.
“Obaseki said he would destroy the Edo APC. But we would not allow him because he who owns a property will not allow it to be destroyed,” Ize-Iyamu said.