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Injuries, damage to vehicles, others trail attack on APC meeting in Benin



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From Tony Osauzo, Benin

Violence reigned supreme yesterday when a group of persons lunched a surprise attack on All Progressives Congress (APC) members and leaders of Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area who were meeting to install former Federal lawmaker, Hon. Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma, as their ‘Apex Leader’ of the party in the local government.

Hardly had the meeting started when the suspected hoodlums and political thugs struck, inflicting injuries on attendees, damaging vehicles and chairs as well as carting drinks and other items from the venue of the meeting, off Dumez Road in Benin City.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the attack, Hon. Agbonayinma said “The APC local government chairman, Hon. Sunny Ogbewe, called me that the leadership of Ikpoba-Okha were coming to meet with me to rub minds with me on the way forward for the party in the Local Government Area.

“However, it was a sad story. My friend, my brothers, one I will call my son, Osarobo Idahosa and Cromwell Osaigbovo, led many others, came here, destroyed, beat up the woman leader and her husband. Both of them are in the hospital as I speak.

“They also vandalized vehicles, broke chairs and tables and carted away drinks.

“This is not how politics should be played. Going violence and beating up elderly persons?

“For sometime, the people of the local government have been appealing to me to come and take leadership position. But I am not interested because of what I have gone through. I lost my son and am still going through it because of the trauma.

“They came here to appeal to me to be the Apex Leader of Ikpoba-Okha”, he said.

Agbonayima while addressing the meeting after security was beefed-up at the venue, vowed that those who carried out the attack “will pay dearly for all they have destroyed” even as he disclosed that the attackers also carted away a Generator brought to power equipment for the meeting.

He said it was tough for him to accept the honour APC members of the local government bestowed on him to be their “Apex leader”.

“This opportunity given to me, I will not take it for granted. I will not disappoint  you,” he said, adding that he would consult before taking decisions.

He urged party members to respect their leaders at all levels.

In their various comments, participants at the meeting condemned the attackers and called for severe sanctions to serve as a deterrent to others who might take such action in the future.