Edo State Deputy Governor, Mr. Philip Shiabu has rejected the accusation of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, insisting that he was rather a victim.
The statement reads issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Ebomhiana Musa: “My attention has been drawn to a press briefing addressed by the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to the effect that Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu was responsible for the unfortunate attack against the Governor, Oba of Lagos and other dignitaries to the first convocation of Edo University, Iyamho.
“Recall that on Sunday, Oshiomhole insisted that the Deputy Governor mobilized over 200 commercial motorcycle riders (Okada riders) and thugs to the venue of the convocation of the Edo University, Iyamho to embarrass him and his guests.
“Oshiomhole said the whole essence of the attack on him was to create an impression that he was no longer popular at home.
“The accusation by itself is contradicting in the sense that it alluded to the rising reception that greeted the Governor by the youths of Etsako West on his arrival in Iyamho, the previous day on Friday, 1st November, 2019.
“It was a joyous reception, no violence nor negative incident occurred on that day as the youths were only on ground to show solidarity with the government of Godwin Obaseki.
“Incidentally, the Deputy Governor was nowhere near Iyamho on that Friday as he was fully engaged in official matters in Benin.
“Infact, the Deputy Governor was himself a victim of the Saturday attack, considering the fact that he was actually in the same bus with the Governor, Oba of Lagos and other dignitaries.
“The simple truth is that the national chairman felt offended and intimidated by the huge crowd of party youths that came out in solidarity with the Governor. He then decided to “teach” the Governor and his Deputy a lesson by organizing those misguided elements to take up arms against the state. He should be courageous enough to own up to his design.
“I see this as clearly a case of entrapment, because the national chairman invited them to his house knowing very well that he had prepared for them, an attack by his political infantry as the statement dished out at the Sunday press conference did not add up.
“It is a pity that our national chairman now sees okada riders as thugs considering the fact that these were the same people who were in the vanguard of his struggle to reclaim his stolen mandate. He rode on their backs to judicial victory in 2007/2008.
“How come that the fighters of justice are now being labeled as thugs by no other person than the SOLE beneficiary of their struggle. So, position can really change a man?
“The Deputy Governor is a man of peace and honour who has never been associated with thuggery or merchants of violence. As much as I would not want to banter words with our highly respected national chairman who we perceive as a living political legend, Nigerians know better between him and Edo State Deputy Governor who has thugs as associates, fondly referred to by him as “my infantry division”.