The weekend’s attack on the convoy of Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, by hoodlums at the residence of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, in Iyamho, Edo State has elicited reactions from Lagos State government; the Pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere; and Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).
In separate interviews with THISDAY yesterday, Lagos State government, Afenifere and PANDEF flayed the attack, describing it as not only uncalled for but also sacrilegious and unwarranted.
The Special Adviser on Chieftaincy Affairs to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Prince Bayo Osiyemi, described the attack on Oba of Lagos as sacrilegious.
“The attack on any monarch is a sacrilege for which the perpetrators must seek divine forgiveness,”he said, adding: “The attack on the premier Oba in Lagos State somewhere in Edo State is uncalled for and whoever sponsored the attackers must do a quick rethink and desist from such untoward behaviour.”
Osiyemi stated that the state government rejoiced with the Oba of Lagos and all others in the attacked convoy because none of them was harmed by the hired hoodlums.
Also condemning the incident, spokesman of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, stated emphatically that “it is a sacrilege that political thugs working for area fathers in politics would extend their gangsterism to the Oba of Lagos.”
Meanwhile, Oshiomhole, has restated his claim that the Edo State Deputy Governor, Mr. Phillip Shaibu, was behind the attack on the governor, Akiolu, the first Chancellor of the Edo University, Dr. Aderemi Makanjuola, among others.
Oshiomhole, at a press conference yesterday in Abuja, described the attack as unfortunate.
He said: “I decided that I should use this medium to speak to the unfortunate incident that happened in my community yesterday (Saturday) after the convocation ceremony at the Edo University. It was my decision to invite the Chancellor and his entourage including His Royal Majesty, Oba Akiolu, Oba Otudeko and other dignitaries.”
Oshiomhole said it was unthinkable that he would invite people for lunch and would also make arrangements to disrupt or prevent his guests from coming into his house.
He described any suggestion that he had an idea of what happened as a lie.
Oshiomohole added: “When I discovered that something had gone wrong, I went to the gate and by then they had gone. I tried to speak with the governor. I called him, the phone rang out but at least I was able to speak with the Chancellor and his wife and I am happy that they fully understood.
“However, this whole thing was unfortunate because it was organised by the state government.”
Oshiomhole explained that by Thursday evening, he had information that Shaibu asked some people to organise 1, 000 people to the university community.
He noted that the whole idea was for them to boo him and celebrate it in the media that the comrade-chairman was booed in his own community.
The national chairman said the Central Bank Governor (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who delivered the convocation lecture was also a witness, adding that Emefiele insisted that he was not going to talk to those thugs who were wearing all kinds of inscriptions as they didn’t come for a political rally.
“Some few minutes later, the governor himself , Godwin Obaseki, arrived and Emefiele went to him and said to him, what are these people doing here? Mr. Governor, if those people were there, I am not going to deliver the convocation lecture because I didn’t come to do politics; I am just came to perform a normal intellectual activity which was the convocation lecture,” he stated.
According to him, the governor promised to get the people out of the university, stressing that it is easier to mobilise thugs into a place but more difficult to demobilise them.
He restated that he has no issue with the governor, adding that he had done his best reconciling Obaseki with stakeholders in the state.