NOT less than 15 persons who were shot yesternight following a violent clash by opposing members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Edo State capital are presently receiving treatment at the Central Hospital, Benin.
Edo state deputy governor, Comrade Phillip Shaibu who was accompanied by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Osarodion Ogie, Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr Taiwo Akerele and other top government officials visited the victims.
The victims who occupied the main street, Airport Road were reportedly shot on the head, arms, legs and other parts of the body by security operatives in a determined to clear the youths who set bonfire on the road as early as nine in the morning.
Details of the violent clash were still sketchy as at the time of filing the report but a source said that the security operatives opened fire on the protesters who had vowed to disrupt today’s rally organized by the party to welcome Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the former governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Shaibu assured that the government will take care of the medical bills.
National chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has appealed to members of the party in Edo state to remain calm following the mayhem unleashed on the people of the state by armed thugs loyal to the state government.
Oshiomhole made the appeal while addressing party members who escorted him to his house. The party chair and other members of the NWC of the party were in Benin to receive over thirty thousand leaders of the PDP led by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu into the APC.
But political thugs at the early hours of Thursday took over the Benin Airport shooting sporadically. Burn-fires were observed at strategic places in Benin City, while roads leading to the residence of the party chairman were blocked heavy-duty vehicles.
It took the party Chair and other members of the NWC over one hour to get to his residence after soldiers came to disperse the armed thugs.
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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“Particularly when those coming were people who fought us in the last election. And when you look at the margin then it was like 50,000. So we are in Benin to welcome them but you could see how their thugs are unleashing mayhem on people.
“But I want to tell you, APC is our house and we will not destroy it neither are we going to allow anybody to destroy it. We don’t want anyone to be killed so please don’t fight back. Those who know me know that I am not a coward, I am not afraid of a fight. But I will not and I urge you to remain calm.“We are getting the conflicting report now, the IG ordered the Commissioner of Police to give us protection for our rally. But we are being told now that the same authority said it has been cancelled. But I am going to make calls and find out what the problem is, if the police is saying they cannot protect a political rally.
“I will find out and let you people know. But even if they said we cannot hold it, please don’t fight anybody. I will meet them and find out when it will hold. But the rally will still hold someday. We have the right of association. This is not the first time we are seeing situations like this, but I can assure you it will not last forever.
“No condition is permanent. We must do everything to keep APC in Edo State no matter what the devil thinks. APC Is our house so we must resist any temptation to fight back. We must remember that our President Muhammad Buhari is a peaceful man. We must remain peaceful and go home and tell everyone, we remain strong. Nobody can shake our spirit. We will receive our brothers into the party to fortify our party”