– The leaders say the attack by thugs on Governor Obaseki was political and the perpetrators must be brought to book
– The politicians claim the attack was as a result of the belief that the governor had imposed someone ahead of the senatorial election
– They denied that leaders of the senatorial district masterminded the act
Leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Edo Central senatorial district, on Saturday, August 25, condemned the attack on Governor Godwin Obaseki by some youths believed to have been hired thugs.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the leaders spoke in separate interview with newsmen in Benin on Saturday.
They described the action as embarrassing and should be condemned by lovers of democracy.
The report said the governor was attacked by some alleged youths of the APC over allegation that Obaseki had imposed a senatorial candidate on the district ahead of the 2019 elections.
Edo Central Senatorial district which is home to Esan speaking people of Edo state is made up of five local government areas of Igueben, Esan South East, Esan North East, Esan West and Esan Central.
Obaseki was at Irrua, headquarters of Esan Central, to meet with APC leaders to discuss issues surrounding the nomination of candidates when some youths stormed the venue with placards.
The youths wore t-shirts inscribed with “the Esan Youth Movement’’ chanting invective words demanding for no imposition of candidates.
The youths, who later physically assaulted the governor, pelted him with sachet water and stones, as he (Obaseki) made to leave venue of the meeting.
Victor Eboigbe and Theophilus Okoh, two leaders of the party, described the attack as barbaric and uncivilised, noting that leaders of the party in the district would not support such action.
Eboigbe said Esan leaders and youths would not support such action against a performing governor like Obaseki.
According to him, punitive actions would be taken against those behind the attack after investigation had been concluded.
Eboigbe noted that Esan leaders were united ahead of the 2019 general elections, and assured that no candidate would be imposed on the people.
“I do not believe the people responsible for the attack are members of the APC. No APC youth will behave like that to our governor. What they did was barbaric, uncivilised and we will get to the bottom of it.
“I don’t care what they protest about. Esan leaders and youths do not support them. It is not correct that no leader tried to call the youths to order.
“I believe that the reason some of them joined in the attack was because in the past, they did it and got what they wanted,” he said.
Okoh, said that information available indicated that some of the youths arrested were from Delta.
“Those alleging that Esan leaders masterminded the attack are just being mischievous. I know that investigation into the matter is going on and those behind it will be exposed,” he said