29th June, 2012
By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state again cheated death on Thursday night following an attack on his convoy a few kilometers away from Usen town, Ovia South West local government area of the state.
This is coming exactly two months after he escaped death by the whiskers when a lorry rammed into his convoy along Warrake/Auchi road, in Etsako West local government.
A statement issued by Tony Iyare, Special Assistant (Media) to Governor Oshiomhole, attributed the attack to “thugs hired by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).”
According to the statement, “Governor Oshiomhole had paid the customary homage to the Onogie of Usen, His Royal Highness Oluogbe II at his palace where he received a rousing welcome from the monarch and the council of chiefs as well as a tumultuous crowd of well-wishers gathered outside the palace.
“At about 6 pm, Governor Oshiomhole’s convoy left the palace. It had not travelled too far down the road when it ran into a barricade.”
It was reported that as the security details attached to the governor came down to remove the baricade, heavily armed thugs emerged from nowhere and opened fire on the governor for several seconds.
“The brave security details attached to the governor, supported by an additional contingent of regular policemen deployed to maintain law and order, rose to the occasion. They were able to shield the governor, key government functionaries and others including leaders of Edo Action Congress of Nigeria to safety without sustaining any human casualties. But several official vehicles including Toyota Landcruisers, Hilux pick-up van and Toyota Corolla saloon car were either badly damaged or riddled with bullets,” the statement alleged.
The security men however failed to arrest any of the gunmen who allegedly descended on the nearby police post and vandalised it.
When contacted on phone for reaction, State Publicity Secretary of PDP, Matthew Urhogide described the allegation as false and unfounded.
According to him, students of Institute of Management Technology, Usen, allegedly barricaded the road on which the governor was travelling, in response to his failure to visit the school as demanded by the students.
He added that information at his disposal has it that one of the students shot by Oshiomhole’s security men has reportedly died of gunshot injuries.
When contacted, Edo state police image maker, Tony Airhuoyo, said the command was still waiting for official briefing from the Divisional Police Officer of Usen division to enable them make official pronouncement on the attack and the sacking of the police station.