The Edo State Chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has petitioned the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 5 Police Headquarters, over the invasion of Benin Airport by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) youths allegedly sponsored by Senator Matthew Urhoghide.
In a petition through their counsel, C.I. Aiguobarueghian, the APC said that it was condemnable that the PDP youths gained entrance and disrupted peace at the airport despite existing regulations against sponsoring of thugs to the vicinity of any airport in Nigeria.
According to the letter, â€œOur client informed and we verily believed it that on the 27th of April, 2018, youths numbering hundreds and led by one Mr. Thaddeus Irabor (PDP State Youth Leader) invaded the Benin Airport awaiting their sponsor, Senator Matthew Urhoghide. Cultural troupes were also on ground singing and dancing strenuously awaiting the â€œheroic arrivalâ€ of their son who had just muted the possibility of impeaching the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, on the floor of the Senate. Whilst the troupes were in a frenzy to outdo each other, the young men contracted by Mr. Thaddeus Irabor indulged in gulping of alcohol and abuse of drugs including the smoking of indian hemp within the precinct of the airport.â€
APC saidÂ Â it has it on good authority that before the arrival of the Senator, the restive youths demanded for the fees agreed to mobilise them to the airport from the said Mr. Thaddeus Irabor, who told them to await the arrival of the Senator who is coming with the money, noting, â€œThis apparently did not go down well with the now intoxicated hirelings who turned on their principal for failure to meet with their contractual agreement. In the orgy of violence, every prominent figure of the PDP in sight became a ready target. The matter got out of hand when the Senator who purportedly held their money arrived the airport and instead of paying the hoodlums as agreed, he waved them away as ignorant and illiterate. The youths got incensed, chanting Urhoghide Ole! The said Urhoghide had to be cocooned in the VIP Lounge of the airport.â€
Noting that it took the intervention of Governor Godwin Enogheghase Obaseki to whisk the Senator out of the ravaging fawns of his hireling, the party said the State Youth leader of PDP, Mr. Thaddeus Irabor, was not that lucky as his dogs literarily turned on him, adding that the unfortunate and avoidable incident caused workers and travellers alike so much psychological trauma.â€
According to him, â€œOur client call is to put the matter in perspective as the furtive effort to put the blame on its party is a total non-starter. First how did the APC youths know the clandestine arrangement to welcome the Senator following his ill-fated motion. What is their interest if Matthew Urhoghide is welcomed. There would have been no reason to resort to fighting without provocation. It is not in the character of the APC to throng to the airport.â€
He said the incident was avoidable if the Police had kept to the extant rules banning groups from congregating at airports. â€œOur client therefore sincerely appeals to you to use your good offices taking into cognizance an extant rule or directive of the Inspector General of Police, issued in November, 2013 by IGP M. D. Abubakar, banning political rallies, parties and gathering in and around the airport. You will recall sir that that order became necessary because there was break down of law and order when the then Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Ameachi, was to receive his guest at the airport in 2013 and there was serious altercations with security personnel.â€
The party continued, â€œThe ban is total across all the airports in Nigeria. Those who invited people to the airport for reception in breach of the above extant rules and the people they used must be promptly brought to book. The said rules also carried dire consequences. This will act as deterrence and forestall future reoccurrence. Those who brought ant- infested firewood to the house should not complain about visit by lizards. In this case they must be made to face the consequences of their actions. The business of security of life is our common responsibility that cannot be sacrificed on the altar of political shenanigan.â€