Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Edo State Deputy Governor and the deputy governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Hon. Philip Shaibu, and the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday engaged in war of words over an alleged attack on the APC campaign rally in the state.
APC fired the first salvo when it accused Shaibu of arming thugs to disrupt its rally in Jattu, Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.
But in a swift reaction, the deputy governor, said: “The latest cry of the APC is akin to the cry of a drowning man holding on to the last straw”.
The alleged thugs, according to a statement issued by the Chairman of the APC Media Campaign Council, Mr. John Mayaki, were chanting war songs, destroying chairs and canopies to prevent the APC rally from holding.
He said, “The Deputy Governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu, is keen on demonstrating his capacity for violence to Governor Godwin Obaseki and other members of the PDP who are battling him for the control of the PDP campaign funds.
“The armed thugs in a convoy were personally led by Mr. Philip Shaibu at Jattu junction where they proceeded to the venue of the APC rally, shooting recklessly and causing terror.
“Some residents are presently fleeing the area for safety as some of the thugs pour on the streets reportedly seeking out leaders of the APC to attack.”
But Shaibu, through his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Musa Ebomhiana, debunked the allegation by the APC that he (Shaibu) masterminded the attacks on its campaign venue in Owan East on Tuesday, stressing that it was impossible for the deputy governor who was campigning in Ovia North East on the day in question to also be at Owan East at the same time.
“The APC has stored so much arms in the system, they are now turning the arms against themselves.
“In Ikhin, Owan East, APC gave N500,000 to the youths to go and share in Afuze after their campaign on the 14th of August; they disagreed and in the process, Ibira youths they bought killed two Afuze youths. The Afuze youths in retaliation, mobilised to Ibira camp in the area and killed three Ibira youths, bringing the total killings to five.
“They know that this battle has been fought and won in the spiritual realm. We are only waiting for the manifestation in the physical on September 19”, Shaibu said.