Tuesday, May 9, 2017 12:02 am
A former governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Edo State, Blessing Agbomhere, has alleged that thugs suspected to be loyal to a top politician in the State, attacked him at the Benin airport on Monday afternoon.
Agbomhere, who aspired to fly the flag of the APC at the September 28, 2016 gubernatorial election in the State, but lost to incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki, was allegedly attacked with his friend, a former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), in Bayelsa State, Moses Siasia.
The duo who sustained varying degrees of injuries on their faces, looked ruffled, were still bleeding and had blood stains on their clothes, with Agbomhere’s lips broken, apparently from the severe beatings they received from their attackers.
The victims who spoke to journalists at the premises of the Edo State Police Command headquarters in Benin, alleged that they boarded the same flight with Edo State Deputy Governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu, from Abuja to Benin.
“As soon as we alighted from the plane [in Benin], unknown criminals suspected to be political thugs attacked me and my friend while shouting, kill him, assassinate him among others. They used all sorts of weapons on us before police came to our rescue,” Agbomhere said.
He alleged that the suspected thugs were after him for standing for the truth, assuring that he would always stand for the no matter the cost.
“Nobody can deter me in my effort to promote my state and still hold public officers accountable to the people because politics is for development and not for destruction. Every political office holder should think of how to move the country forward and develop people and not destroy them,” he said.
Agbomhere, who confirmed that the police are already investigating the matter, added that three suspects were arrested at the scene of the attack.
On his part, Moses Siasia, who was also injured in the attack, said it took the intervention of the Delta State Police Commissioner, Zanna Ibrahim and his men who also boarded the plane, to arrest the situation, adding that their attackers were closed to 30.
“I don’t know the problem between Blessing and the Deputy Governor to warrant the attack because it was apparent that he called his boys to the airport for the attack us.
“As they were beating us, they were saying ‘you people are disrespecting our Deputy Governor, you are disrespecting our boss.’ But even when I told them that I don’t even know their boss and that I am from Bayelsa State, they didn’t listen,” he said.
When contacted on phone, Mr. Musa Ebhomiana, the Chief Press Secretary to Philip Shaibu, described Agbomhere’s claim as cheap blackmail.
According to him, the Deputy Governor could not have descended so low to attack a brother and a member of the party who hailed from the same senatorial district with him.
He said even though the Deputy Governor incidentally boarded the same plane with Agbomhere, it could not have been possible for the two of them to depart the airport at the same time, adding that the Deputy Governor could not have possibly made calls from Abuja or inside the plane to the alleged thugs to attach him.
“He, [Agbomhere] should look elsewhere for those who attacked him at the Benin airport,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Moses Nkombe, confirmed the incident, saying the investigation is on-going.