Sunday, 12 October 2014

EDO: Armed Men Invade Legislative Quarters, Lawmakers Escape Death!


Majority Leader of Edo State House of Assembly, Mr Philip Shaibu, and some All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers and their families escaped death, yesterday, at the legislative quarters, when armed thugs, numbering over 50, invaded the quarters.

Edo-620x330The thugs, alleged to be loyal to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stormed the quarters at about 6:30am shooting sporadically. It was learnt that they went straight to the quarters of Shaibu and those of other APC lawmakers such as Bright Osayande, Folly Ogedegbe, Sunny Aghedo and rained bullets on their homes and cars.

Some of the lawmakers were said to have helped their families to escape by scaling the perimeter fence before they returned to face the suspected thugs who, reportedly, disappeared before the lawmakers could mobilize. The reign of terror in the state started on Tuesday after a PDP lawmaker, Rasaq Momoh, whose seat was allegedly declared vacant last July by the House, was beaten up by suspected thugs.

He was beaten to a pulp and currently receiving treatment in, hospital. The PDP accused the Majority Leader of masterminding the attack which he denied. However, Shaibu and four others were arraigned before a magistrate court on Friday on the issue but were granted bail.

The Speaker of the House, Uyi Igbe, who was equally invited by the police over the matter, said he was never detained or arrested by the police..

The crisis moved to the Benin Airport, on Friday morning, when President Goodluck Jonathan visited the state for the foundation laying ceremony of the Azura-Edo Power Plant. Some youths, believed to be PDP members, allegtedly attacked some APC leaders including the state Publicity Secretary Godwin Erhahon, among others at the occasion. Soldiers had to be deployed to the place to restore order before the arrival of the President.

Over 50 policemen took over the assembly quarters after yesterday’s attack which the APC described as a declaration of war on the people by the PDP.

“Even after some of the leaders of our party were attacked at the airport by suspected PDP thugs, the hoodlums proceeded to the legislative quarters to attack our lawmakers and their families. Yet, in that moment of brutality, we pitied the thugs on how their so-called sponsors have reduced them to such an animalistic level as neither our children nor those of the leaders who sent them would allow themselves to be so used”, the Edo APC said in a statement, yesterday.

“When the President came recently for a PDP rally, APC leaders had no business being at the airport. And when he came today as the guest of APC-controlled government, we did not expect PDP to see it as their show. We do not see why members of APC and PDP cannot mix freely and peacefully in an event where leaders of both parties are featuring”.

But reacting, the Publicity Secretary of the Edo PDP, Matthew Urhoghide, said, “Enough is enough. People are not happy with this rubbish because these are all Edo people. The governor should do something now. We are not interested in who is PDP or APC. The governor should call that House to order. I am not aware that they (attackers) are PDP thugs, we don’t believe in violence”.

Edo State Police Commissioner, Foluso Adebanjo, condemned the legislative quarters attack. He told Sunday Vanguard, yesterday, “What we saw this morning must be condemned. We are investigating the matter and whoever is behind it will be brought to book. Meanwhile, we have stationed policemen to protect the quarters and I tell you we will deal ruthlessly with any bastard involved in such shooting”.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House, Igbe, has petitioned the state Police Commissioner, alleging that the mayhem was masterminded by PDP leaders.

‘’The assassins, in their hundreds, came brandishing rifles and shooting sporadically. They went on rampage destroying vehicles, buildings and assaulting some lawmakers and their families. Furthermore, after the exit of the hoodlums, a face cap was found in the premises with an inscription Final Push which is the slogan of a group believed to be sponsored by a PDP lawmaker’’, he said.

“Let me at this juncture remind the Commissioner that having heard the information of possible attack, yesterday, we expected that the security in and around the premises should have been beefed up to foil the attack. Also, the few police officers that were supposedly posted to the legislators quarters were absent at the time of the attack.

“This barbaric act lasted for an hour causing residents and neighbours to run for their dear lives. In addition, police response was very slow despite several calls put to the police through the available emergency numbers. I wish to request your speedy investigation on this matter with a view to brin


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