By Osaigbovo Iguobaro Benin
No fewer than three officials of Edo State Public Works Volunteers (PUWOV) got a close shave with death in the hands of suspected hoodlums at the weekend in Benin.
They were attacked near a popular tomato market at Aduwawa, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State while attempting to arrest a commercial bus driver who was alleged to have picked passengers at unauthorized location.
It was gathered that the driver of the vehicle had resisted arrest before raising the alarm that attracted other drivers in show of solidarity with their embattled colleague.
It was further alleged that the mob overpowered PUWOV members assigned to clear the area of menace and descended on the three them with cutlasses and bottles, while sympathizers watch with glee.
The injured members were left for the dead by the mob while tempers flare.
Over three vehicles were reportedly vandalized while pedestrians stranded during the incident.
Shop owners around the premises were not spared during the brawl before the intervention of policemen who fired gunshots to scare the suspected hoodlums from killing the injured who had been admitted to undisclosed hospital for treatment.
Edo State Chairman of Public Works Guards, Mr. Muktar Osagie, said the intervention of Policemen on patrol who came from nowhere salvaged the situation.
Osagie, condemned the attacks, stressing the injured had been taken to hospital for treatment.
He linked the proscription of illegal revenue collections and illegal ticketing which had restored sanity to the State to the incessant attacks on his members.
The visibly angry Muktar, stated that no amount of threats and intimidation will deter them from restoring discipline to the State against the wishes of those who are bent on tearing the connective tissue of decent society.
He commended police for prompt intervention, stressing that “if not for their intervention, some of our men would have been dead”.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Babatunde Johnson, confirmed the arrest of some suspects in connection with the alleged attack.
He wondered why some members of the public would vent their anger on people assisting the government to maintain law and order.