By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
Police have sealed up the venue of All Progressives Congress (APC) botched mega rally billed for Friday at Garrick Memorial School in Benin City, Edo State.
The venue of the rally was sealed by police operatives, following the violent protest and burn fire by persons suspected to be members of APC who kicked against the planned defection of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, former Governorship Candidate of PDP and foundation member of APC in Edo State.
Our Correspondent reports that Benin City was almost on a lockdown as major roads and Streets were convulsed in a traffic snarl on Thursday for hours.
APC youths loyal to Governor Obaseki, staged a violent protest at the entrance at the Benin airport while businesses around the area were shutdown.
But police security operatives protected the airport from being burnt down during the traffic logjam and panic in the state Capital, while motorists sought alternative routes out of the area.
Three vehicles including an Audi Car and Mercedes Benz were bunt, heightening tension at the Benin airport.
But, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr Philip Shaibu, said Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, described the declaration of Ize-Iyamu as unacceptable because Governor Godwin Obaseki is the leader of APC in Edo State.
According to him, “It’s a welcome development to us that Ize-Iyamu is coming to our party…He is welcome, but, he
“He (Ize-Iyamu) should give us date when we will receive him, not he (Ize-Iyamu) giving us date when he should be welcome.
“For us it is an insult to us by a man who is coming to APC not to invite us”, he said.
The youths, however, opened one side of the road to traffic when the representative of the Commissioner of Police, Danladi Isa, persuaded those who barricaded the main gate of Benin Airport to allow for free flow of traffic.
He had pleaded, “I am here because of you people. I heard there is a protest here. That is why the Commissioner of Police sent me to find out what the problem is.
“I am the Area Commander in-Charge of this area. Blocking of the high way is a criminal offence, we appeal to you to open the highway for people to pass. We have instructed the police not to arrest anyone.”
One of the protesters, Lucky Ehimen, who spoke with journalists, charged the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to stop meddling in the state’s politics and concentrate on national issues.
“Oshiomhole should leave us alone in the state and allow us to live in peace as Governor Godwin Obaseki has performed excellently well and the youths in the State are happy with his performance and want him to continue in office. We will not allow any imposition of the leadership of the party in the state,” he said.
Don Pedro Obaseki, political analyst, accused Pastor Ize-Iyamu of attempting to cause brigandage in APC.
But, the Spokesman of Edo State Chapter of APC, Chris Azebamwan told our Correspondent that the rally will hold.
He said: “We have not cancelled the rally”.
He also urge APC members and supporters to turn up enmasse at Garrick Memorial School at 10am tomorrow 13th Friday 2019 as at the time of filing this report.