By Sir Ralph Okhiria
Immediate past Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and a top member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Edo state, Mr. Henry Idahagbon, on Thursday afternoon narrowly escaped death in the hands of Gunmen.
The gunmen suspected to be assassins attacked the former Edo State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice in his private office, situated along Siluko Road, near the popular Oliha Market in Benin City, Edo State.
The gunmen who allegedly used three vehicles, reportedly fired several shots, leaving the office walls marked with bullets while shattered window panes littered the premises of the three storey building.
Barrister Idahagbon told newsmen that he was in his office that fateful afternoon, attending to his clients when he was jolted by the volley of bullet shots which were aimed at his office, sited on the mid floor of the three storey building.
Idahagbon, a Co-founder of the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), who has since gone underground said that he quickly dashed for the back exit, through which he escaped, even as the fire was still going on, adding that miraculously nobody was injured in the attack.
“I was in my office, attending to some clients when I heard the echoes of gunshots directed at my office. I immediately ran out. Thank God, nobody was injured. The windows were shattered while the building is pockmarked with bullets. I have reported the matter to the police,” he said.
He added that he immediately reported the incident to the nearby Oba Market Police station where a team of policemen were drafted to assess the extent of damage.
Some neighbours who heard the volley of the shots, apparently from pump action rifles, reportedly ran out of their shops, unlocked and fled for fear of being hit by stray bullets.
But the Edo State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Chidi Nwanbuzor, when contacted on the issue, said he was not aware of the incident.
However, Mr Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser, Media and Communication Strategy to Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, described the alleged attack as the latest step in the plot by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to disrupt peace and safety in Edo State.
Osagie stated that the State government has continuously warned that the embattled National Chairman and some members Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) are hellbent on causing a breakdown of law and order in the State.
“Today’s incident is another proof that members of the amorphous group are at war with themselves and the people of Edo State. The blame rightly should be dropped at the feet of the embattled National Chairman, who continuous to violate orders and promote violence in the State.”
He accused Oshiomhole of disobeying orders by the Nigeria Police Force at the Federal and State levels not to hold public gatherings against the directives of the state government.
“His actions have led to the hospitalization of tens of Edo people and the destruction of properties valued in millions of naira. From Edo South to Edo North, he has traded in violence and left many in anguish in the wake of his strong-headed approach to entrenching himself as a godfather in the State. Even with this, he has not relented, but rather continues to fan the embers of division, acting as if he is above the law in the state.
“This incident is the latest in Comrade Oshiomhole’s schemes, as his lieutenants continue to perpetuate violence with his overt and covert support, which will not be tolerated by the Edo State Government.”
He called on the Inspector General of Police and the Presidency to call Comrade Oshiomhole to order, adding that his ambition to become a godfather in Edo State is not worth the safety of lives of the four million people in our State.
“The state government restates that it would spare nothing under the laws of our land in dealing decisively with these merchants of violence” and assured residents of the State that the government would continue to resist attempts to fracture the peace and safety in Edo State.