There was pandemonium on Saturday at the Oba of Benin around palace at the King square in Benin City when supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Candidate in the September 19, 2020 Governorship election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and supporters of the ruling Peoples Democratic party (PDP), Mr Godwin Obaseki themselves in a shoot-out, leaving many wounded.
It was gathered that PDP Governors and members of the National Working Committee of the party who went to pay homage to Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare II, had barely left the palace when the shooting started at about 2:30p.m.
Trouble started when APC youths allegedly chase away PDP supporters who adorned themselves in branded shirts and caps, which resulted to a reprisal by supporters of the ruling party in the State at the main entrance of the palace before Governor Godwin Obaseki and his Guests arrived the palace.
Youths of the opposition APC in the State, chanted songs apparently disparage the governor and his Guests who were at the palace to seek Royal blessing ahead of his party’s flag-off at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium in Benin City.
The APC youths had laid siege at the entrance of the palace ahead of the arrival of the immediate past National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the Chairman of Ocean Marine, Capt. Hosa Okunbor who were billed to attend the dedication of infant Prince on Saturday evening.
The reprisal by PDP supporters who rode on nine Hilux vans, made the road traffic on the Plymonth, Airport road, Ezoti Street, Adesogbe, Oba market road and adjourning Streets to convulse for several hours.
The development led to the redeployment of armed security personnel who fired gunshots to disperse the thugs and some youths who sustained various degrees of injuries, while motorists scampered for safety as some motorists had their vehicles vandalised in the heat of the ensuing melee.
Vehicles branded with the PDP and APC campaign logo were spared in the attack as they tried to navigate through the Benin Airport road and the King square.
Governor Godwin Obaseki made allusion to the incident while making his remark at the stadium.
He appealed to PDP members and his supporters not to retaliate evil for evil.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Edo State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) had prior to the violence on Friday, tasked political parties contesting in the September 19 Governorship election in the State as well as other stakeholders to eschew all forms of violence and embark on issue based campaign devoid of mudslinging.
Chairman of Edo NUJ, Sir Roland Osakue and Secretary, Mr. Titus Akhigbe in a Communique issued at the end of it Congress, urged politicians in the state to play the game according to set rules as well as embark on issue based campaigns in order not to cause mayhem in the State.
Osakue also advised journalists to be professional in the discharge of their duties by reflecting the views of all political parties.
“The NUJ calls on politicians in Edo state to play the game according to the set rules in order not to cause mayhem in the state. We advise politicians, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other stakeholders in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo state to observe the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Covid-19 protocols in order to stem the spread of the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic in the State as they carry out their Campaigns”, Osakue said.