The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, on Sunday accused the Edo State government of mobilizing thugs to attack him during the convocation ceremony of Edo University, Iyamho, at the weekend.
At a news briefing held at his Abuja residence, Oshiomhole who pointedly told the governor to rein in his deputy, Philip Shuaibu, said the state does not need thugs in its politics and governance architecture.
He denied sponsoring the attacks on guests who he had invited for lunch, saying it was unthinkable that he would attack his own guests.
Oshiomhole said: “I decided that I should use this medium to speak on the unfortunate incident that happened in my community yesterday (Saturday) after the convocation ceremony at the Edo University. Like I already directed my press secretary to do on Saturday, obviously it was my decision to invite the chancellor and his entourage including His Royal Majesties, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Oba Otudeko and other dignitaries.
“I personally invited them to join me for lunch which they graciously accepted and so it is unthinkable that I will invite people for lunch and I will make arrangements to disrupt or prevent my guests from coming to my house. So, any suggestion that I had an idea of what happened, nothing can be farther from the truth.
“When I discovered that something had gone wrong, I went to the gate and by then they had gone. I tried to speak with the governor. I called him, the phone rang out but at least I was able to speak with the chancellor and his wife and I am happy that they fully understood. However, this whole thing was unfortunate because it was organized by the state government. By Thursday evening, and you can crosscheck with the IGP, I had information that the deputy governor asked some people to organize 1, 000 people to the university community. The whole idea was for them to boo me and celebrate it in the media that the comrade-chairman was booed in his own community. The CBN governor who delivered the convocation lecture was also a witness.
“The CBN governor was not invited to address a rally, he was invited to deliver a convocation lecture and he wasn’t going to talk to those thugs who were wearing all kinds of inscriptions. They didn’t come for a political rally.
“I conveyed the message to the IGP to prevent thugs from being imported to the place by the deputy governor. Some few minutes later the governor himself arrived and Mr. Emefiele went to him and said to him, ‘what are these people doing here?’ He said Mr. Governor if those people were there, he wasn’t going to deliver the convocation lecture because he didn’t come to do politics, he just came to perform a normal intellectual activity which was the convocation lecture. The governor promised to get the people out of the university. You can imagine, it is easier to mobilize thugs into a place but it is far more difficult to demobilize them. So, we had to meander into the auditorium where the lecture was to be delivered and of course, you could hear all sorts of slogans and counter slogans. This was exactly what they had planned and the whole idea was they would have their cameras waiting. As I step out, people will be booing me and the media will report that Oshiomhole booed when he attended the convocation ceremony. That was the whole idea.”
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