Benin Airport Clash: Edo APC chides Senator Urhoghide, calls him ‘irresponsible’


Chairman of Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Barr. Anslem Ojezua, has taken a swipe at the Senator representing Edo South Senatorial District, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, saying his alleged impeachment motion and the furore that greeted his actions are not just condemnable but irresponsible.

Barr. Ojezua, who said this in a chat with journalists in Benin City, said that the Senator’s attempt to point fingers at the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for his ordeal smacks of ingratitude given that the governor was instrumental to rescuing him from the irate crowd that had stalled his exit from the airport.

According to him, “It is unfortunate that Urhoghide should suggest that Governor Obaseki was there when the incident happened. It was Obaseki who saved his neck because as at the time we arrived, Obaseki’s aircraft had not touched the ground. The governor met Urhoghide at the airport because the police were keeping him in the building from those who wanted his neck. It was when the governor came that he was able to come out. I think it was unfortunate and a show of ingratitude on his part for him to suggest that the governor was behind his travail. It is typical of PDP for you to do them good and they reward you with bad.”

Arguing that Urhoghide’s action is in bad faith and antithetical to efforts to curb ravaging insecurity in the country, he said, “A supposed distinguished senator of the Federal Republic went to the floor of the Senate and began to make reckless demands and requests about the presidency over an alleged expenditure that borders on security of our country. This was done in the light of all the killings that is going on. I think that statement was irresponsible. I think it was unfortunate that the Nigerian Senate should even allow such a thing to be discussed.

“Everybody has been concerned about the killings. We know the limitations of our security forces. Goodluck Jonathan was president when this request was made and it was turned down repeatedly. Now, for once, the American Government has accepted to release to us the equipment that we dearly need to deal with this situation, then a group of people, who claim to be representing people, particularly Urhoghide, who claims to be representing the people of Edo state, is against it. You know how many lives we have lost to supposed herdsmen. We have information that some of these killings are contrived.”

He continued, “Now, this equipment can assist us in resolving these issues and the Senate is asking for authority. When Obasanjo emptied this same account, where was the Nigerian Senate? How much did Goodluck Jonathan inherit and how much did he leave there? These same people could not say anything. Now, for once, somebody is coming up with something and they are asking questions. The unfortunate thing is that it is emanating from Edo State.

“I think it is reprehensible and should be condemned. I feel so bad that such a thing should happen, for him to arrive here and for them to say they want to do reception. To receive who? Somebody who has been in the Senate for how long? He comes here every week. So how come they have not been receiving him like this before. Because he made such a scandalous statement at the Senate, some stupid hoodlums went to the airport and you expect that Edo people will just accept it? It will not happen.

“It is not about APC; it is about the people of Edo state. I am chairman of APC; I was on that same flight with him I didn’t know there was anything going to happen at the airport. If I didn’t know, then I could not have known to provide a response. I think the Police needs to step in because the policy that the Federal Government came up with during Jonathan’s administration that they don’t want people to come to the airport as a crowd has not changed. It has not been reversed. How come nobody has been arrested?”

On the conduct of the recent ward congress in the state, Ojezua said, “The same way we conducted our primaries into offices in the local government, we adopted the consensus approach. It worked for us then, it worked for us again this time. It was very peaceful.”