Adedayo Akinwale ín Abuja
The National chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday arrived in Benin, Edo State capital, amidst tight security, to receive over 30,000 leaders of the PDP led by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu into APC in a mega rally scheduled for today.
The party chairman, has however, disclosed that he heard that the police authorities have cancelled the rally.
Oshiomhole said that prior to the rally, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, had ordered the Commissioner of Police to give them protection, “but we are being told now that the same authority said it has been cancelled.”
Oshiomhole’s Chief Press Secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, in a statement issued last night alleged that political thugs at the early hours of yesterday took over the Benin Airport shooting sporadically.
He added that bonfires were observed at strategic places in Benin City, while roads leading to the residence of the party chairman were blocked with heavy duty vehicles.
The statement quoted Oshiomhole as appealing to members of the party in the state to remain calm following the mayhem unleashed on the people of the state by armed thugs allegedly loyal to the state government.
He 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.
“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 any body 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.”