Three suspected thugs have been arrested over Monday’s attack on a former All Progressive Congress governorship aspirant in Edo State, Chief Blessing Agbomhere.
Agbomhere was beaten and bloodied in the mouth by over 30 thugs at the Benin Airport shortly after he arrived from Abuja.
Also attacked was a former governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Movement in Bayelsa State, Moses Siasia, who accompanied Agbomhere to Benin City.
Agbomhere said the thugs kept saying he was disrespecting their boss, a chieftain of the APC.
He said it was security details attached to the Commissioner of Police in Delta State, Zanna Ibrahim, that rescued him from the thugs.
The thugs were suspected to be loyalists of Edo State Deputy Governor, Hon Philip Shaibu, who came on the same flight with the duo. No connection has however been established between the Deputy-governor and the thugs who weren't members of his entourage.
Speaking to newsmen at the Police Command headquarters in Benin City, Agbomhere alleged that he met the deputy governor at the Abuja Airport but avoided him.
He said, “I have been known to be courageous and fearless. When we came into Benin, I was immediately attacked by some criminals who were shouting kill him before the police came to rescue us. And they used all sort of weapons on me.
“I came to Benin because I am on an assignment on the development of the Niger-Delta and I am seeing this. I will not be deterred. I will continue in my effort to promote my state Edo and to ensure that I still hold public officers accountable to be people.
“If not for the timely intervention of my friend, I don’t know what some of them were planning to do. I came in with my friend who was a governorship candidate in Bayelsa state, we were together and immediately we stepped in we were attacked”.
Agbomhere further stated that the police have arrested some persons who have confessed that they were sent to assassinate him.
On his part, Moses Siasia described the attack as unfortunate for democracy and the leadership of Edo state.
According to him, “I don’t know what political differences he has with Blessing who was former aspirant, look at me from Bayelsa state, beaten this way. These are one of the things that cause tribal clashes.
“We have made our reports to the police, they have given us medical clearance and we are going to check ourselves. It is unfortunate for democracy and for leadership in Edo state”.
Edo police spokesman, DSP Moses Nkombe, said the police was still investigating the incident.
Reacting to the alleged assault, the Chief Press Secretary to the deputy governor, Mr Musa Ebhomiana, described Agbomhere’s claim as cheap blackmail stating that Hon Shaibu will not stoop so low attack a brother and a member of the same party with him who hailed from the same senatorial district.
He stated that 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.
Musa explained that his boss could not have make calls from Abuja or inside the plane to the alleged thugs to attach him.
“He, (Agbomhere) should look elsewhere for those who attack him at the Benin airport,” he said.