Ikpoba Okha APC leaders meeting ends in fiasco

Unmitigated violence was visited on Saturday by leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State, who gathered to install a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Ehizuwa Agbonayinma, as the ‘Apex Leader of the party in the local government area.

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, held off Dumez Road in Benin City.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the attack, Agbonayinma said, “The APC local government chairman, Hon. Sunny Ogbewe, called me and said that the leadership of Ikpoba-Okha was 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, one of my brothers, whom I will call my son, led many others, came here, destroyed, and beat up the woman leader and her husband. Both of them are in the hospital as I speak.

“They also vandalised vehicles, broke chairs and tables, and carted away drinks. This is not how politics should be played. Going violent and beating up elderly people?

“For some time, the people of the local government have been appealing to me to come and take leadership positions. 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 has been given to me, and I will not take it for granted. I will not disappoint you,” he said, adding that he would consult before making 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.



Tribune Online