Hoodlums on Saturday morning attacked Majority Leader of Edo State House of Assembly, Mr Philip Shaibu, and some All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers and their families residing at the legislative quarter located along Ihama road, the Edo State House of Assembly in Benin, vandalising property worth millions of naira.
According to The Punch, the armed hoodlums, numbering over 100, forced their way into the premises at about 6:30am. The Speaker Uyi Igbe, Majority leader, Hon Phillip Shaibu and other principal officer’s security were said to have been overpowered by firing power of the invading thugs.
Scores of cars belonging to the Majority leader, Phillip Shaibu, Sunday Aghedo, Folly Ogedengbe and Bright Osayande were riddled with bullets in an attack which lasted for about 30 minutes. Moreover, some of the windows of the apartments were shattered and bullet holes were seen on some doors.
The invading thugs were said to have been allegedly led by a notorious thugs popularly called ‘Shaba’.
The attack caused the occupants to scamper to safety. When our correspondent got to the scene, some of the windows of the apartments were shattered while bullet holes were seen on some of the vehicles and doors.
“They were shouting that we will kill all the APC lawmakers today. I hid in one of the boys quarter for my safety. They also threatened to return back on later day,” an eyewitness said.
The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who arrived at the scene of the incident at about 11am, was conducted round the quarters by the Speaker, Uyi Igbe, condemned the attack on the lawmakers and their family members.
The governor also accused the Peoples Democratic Party of masterminding the mayhem. He also took a swipe at the police, alleging that they “granted permission” for the attack.
Addressing newsmen after the inspection, Oshiomhole said: “The PDP leaders had a meeting where it was decided that thugs should be recruited to come and perpetrate this attack. It is very clear that the police granted permission for this attack because the Commissioner of Police was informed at about 10:00pm last night of the plan of the PDP to attack the legislative quarters and the APC office.”
He added that he is not so much worried about the violent character of the PDP, but he is more worried by what seems to be the police readiness to provide them with cover.
Oshiomhole, while warning the major opposition party in the state, said that “Power is very transient,” gave the assurance that his administration would not be distracted from its constitutional duty of governance. “Today you are in power, tomorrow you are out of power. Any crime you have committed and the present political order covers you, when the order changes, you will report to justice.”
However, the leadership of the Edo State PDP, while briefing journalists in Benin on Saturday, dismissed the allegations that the party masterminded the attack at the premises of the lawmakers.
Orbih said: “There is no truth whatsoever in the governor’s allegations. After welcoming Mr. President to Edo State on Friday, many of us went to our houses, had a light dinner and went to bed.
“It is common knowledge that what happened might have been born out of the attack on Rasaq Momoh and the fact that those accused are now free today. What happened this morning was not the work of our party. We believe in the law enforcement agencies to deal with the situation.”
According to the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Foluso Adebanjo, the state command had arrested 12 persons in connection with the Saturday attack. He also claimed that the vehicle purportedly used to convey the attackers had been recovered, adding that more arrests would be made.