By Jethro Ibileke
The crisis rocking Edo chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC is assuming a dangerous dimension with the Benin residence of the factional State Secretary party, Mr. Lawrence Okah, rocked by explosion in the early hours of Tuesday.
The explosion which allegedly occurred around 12.30 am, shattered the kitchen side on the ground floor of the building and dug a hole in the ground.
The kitchen window and veranda were shattered, with the ceiling POP hanging down.
It was said that another explosive which failed to detonate, hung on the veranda rail of the top floor of the house, but was later removed by a team of police anti-bomb squad at about 8 am.
Fortunately, no live was lost to the explosion.
Chieftains of the APC such as Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Dr. Pius Odubu, Patrick Obahiagbon and others were at the residence for solidarity visit.
Responding, a governorship aspirant of the party, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu described the attack as wicked and despicable.
He said: “It’s a very unfortunate,very wicked and despicable act. It’s only the grace of God that ensure that lives were not lost. Those who did this thing could not have said they were planning to demolish an uncompleted building.
“The state secretary lives here, the bomb that did not explode was targeted at the window where he sleeps, his wive and children live in the house. Where the second one exploded, just a little distance away, were gas cylinders, and you can imagine if that bomb had made contact with those cylinders, this entire house would have been brought down in fire and everybody would have died.
“There is no doubt that this action was politically motivated, this cannot be the work of armed robbers, it’s not the work of kidnappers, it’s not the work of children. Itwas a deliberate act of political wickedness.
“You know that the State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shaibu and some top government officials have been in the forefront of issuing threats that they are going to deal decisively with those who are opposed to their second term ticket. I’ve never heard where you get second term ticket by threat and are now throwing bombs and killing people.
“Before this one happened, they have also used the same kind of bomb in the house of Chief Inegbeneki. Government did not condemn this act, but rather, very childishly, they try to blame the national Chairman. But, of course, it’s the height of ridicule and absurdity to accuse the national Chairman of sending a bomb to somebody who supports him and speaks very highly of him.
“It was clear that those who threw bomb at Chief Inegbeneki’s house are those who were hell-bent that no rally take place at Edo Central, and Chief Inegbeneki was the arrowhead. So, it’s clear where it was coming from.
“We are appearing the security agencies that they must not allow the situation to degenerate to the level where people will take laws onto their hands.
“I want to say, for the record that immunity is no licence to kill or to encourage people to kill or to fund those who kill. What has been happening in the past few days is that they want to kill thier political opponents.
“I went to Henry Idahagbon’s house and it was clear to me that those who fire those gunshots did not care if anybody was hit, and of course, you know that bullets are not friendly.
“Honestly, with [Bisi Akande’s committee being set up and Edo government saying at last, they are satisfied, one would have thought that they would tell those that have been assigned to handle these very wicked and violent activities that they should halt and give peace a chance. But it is shameful that this is happening.
“I said it before and I will say it again, it appears that the real cause of this threat, violence and so-called crisis is the insistence of the Governor and his people that they must do a second term. That certainly appears to be the real cause, every other thing is diversionary.
“And if that is so, it means that by the time somebody chosen as the candidate of the party, this problem is expired, the nomination will end the crisis, we have to live with it.
“Let us pray that people will reconsider and look at these actions and begin to ask themselves that really if people have died, will it not be dangerous, will it not be counterproductive? For me, I don’t see how the death of anybody will facilitate a second term agenda.
“My advice is that the Governor must appeal to those who are hell-bent on killing people, he must warn them and he must condemn this act. To just keep quiet about it or to continue to issue out threats is to encourage them to do more. I don’t think this is the way to go, we don’t want it to get out of hands.”