…As APC Youths Pass Vote of Confidence on Buhari.
By Lucky Isibor
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP faithful across the Edo South Senatorial district, on Monday, protested the assault on Senator Matthew Urhoghide at the Benin Airport by alleged All Progressives Congress, APC thugs.
The protesters in their large numbers march through the major streets in Benin City brandishing placards of various inscriptions that read thus: “Say no to hooliganism, say no to executive recklessness, freedom of expression must prevail, and on decency we stand”
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, the Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, said the party, through its lawyers, Chris Agbonwanegbe and Associates in a petition titled “Complaint of Assault, Attempted Murder, Harassment and Intimidation by APC Thugs Masquerading As Youths” has petitioned the Edo State Commissioner of Police, CP Babatunde Johnson Kokumo to fish out those who molested Senator Matthew Urhoghide at the Benin Airport.
The petition reads as follows “We act as Solicitors to the entire PDP Edo South Senatorial District and on whose authority we write this petition for matters related and connected to the caption above written.
” That on Friday, the 27th of April 2018, at the Benin Airport thugs masquerading as APC youths, but really hired by the party and state apparatus, came to the Airport in their thousands to lay ambush for our Senator Matthew Urhoghide who was coming to his constituency from Abuja.
“Senator Matthew Urhoghide was really harassed, intimidated and assaulted by those hooligans who invaded the Airport.
“Senator Matthew Urhoghide was hit hard on his head by one Micheal Eriyo, aided by another called Mutari and one of two others yet unnamed but one cutting ticket along Airport Road on daily basis.
“In the melee that occurred, the PDP state youth leader was beaten to stupor and now hospitalized here in Benin, another victim was the former state woman leader, Mrs. Stella Evbuomwan also hospitalized and two others in the hospital beaten to the point of death.
“These victims are some of the few PDP members the Senator was able to reach in the face of the danger and imprisonment caused by the thugs at the VIP lounge of the Benin Airport.
“Before this ungodly action of theirs did not just start at the Airport, they had earlier in the day demonstrated to NUJ and the Senator’s office boasted that they were going to the Airport to wait for him.
“It was this information that reached the Senator at boarding in Abuja. The same reason he stayed at VIP lounge. They were not able to get him until the governor talked him out of the VIP to to the waiting arm of the vampires.
“Again this morning, Mr. Commissioner, they had continued their demonstration to NUJ and some major streets in Benin.
“We humbly appeal that you pay attention to these ugly incidences and carry out investigation to unravel what really happened and those behind it.
“Finally sir, we refuse to believe that any individual is above the law, therefore we appeal to you to use your good office in aid of the pursuit of justice and for the protection of our client’s dear life”, the petition said.
Nehikhare said PDP as a party in the state, is not afraid of intimidation and cannot be cowed by anybody not to perform their roles as an opposition party.
He said those who want peace in the state, should act accordingly and that the PDP will not tolerate a situation where its members are harassed and intimidated for carrying out their legitimate duties for which they are elected for.
“Let those that want peace in the state act in accordance with peace. We will not tolerate it, where our members are harassed, intimidated, brutalized, attacked for doing a duty for which they were elected for”, he said.
In a swift reaction, Special Adviser to the Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie said Senator Urhoghide was a victim of his own orchestration.
“A lion handler or snake charmer who lost control of his beasts and became a victim of his violent circus. As we said before, Urhoghide has to explain to Edo people why after several trips to and from Benin, without riotous reception, he decided to order PDP youths out of their homes to invade the airport on that occasion.
“Engaging thugs that Governor Obaseki has since retired, is not a ‘senatorial way’ of assisting our youths who need skills to set up businesses,” he stressed.
In a related development, the Edo APC youths staged a counter protest denouncing the PDP protest.
The APC youths who were led by the state Youth leader of the party, Mr. Valentine Asuen also used the peaceful protest to pass a vote of confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari.