Meeting organised by the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) in Ivbiaro, Owan East local government area was Sunday disrupted by suspected hoodlums loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The governor and the All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole are at daggers drawn over the 2020 governorship election.
Narrating the incident, Barrister Ibrahim Bawa in whose residence the meeting was to hold said, some of its members attacked have been hospitalized in Auchi, Etsako West local government area.
“While we were waiting for more members to arrive from other parts of Edo north, we saw some people armed with machetes, axes and other dangerous weapons among them were the chairman of the council, Andrew Osigwe, the Commissioner of Education Jimoh Ijegbai.
“They came and said there is an instruction from the state governor that any meeting apart from that of APC must not be allowed to hold and then pounced on us beating people mercilessly, they destroyed about 150 chairs out of the 500 we arranged in my compound.
“They destroyed all the vehicles parked in front of my house. These vehicles are owned by people who were coming for the meeting and injured one of us. The coordinator of EPM, Comrade Carlis Imolore, is right now in a private hospital in Auchi.”
Meanwhile, in a press statement issued by the EPM and signed by Gideon Obhakhan condemned the attack saying: “This senseless attack is obviously a fulfillment of recent threats by Edo State governor to deal ruthlessly with any opposition and voice of dissent, in his desperate bid to return himself as governor of Edo State despite his massive rejection by Edo people”.
“Edo People’s Movement hereby condemns in very strong terms, this barbaric act which is totally uncalled for in a democracy where the freedom of association is a fundamental right of every citizen. This attack is yet another one added to the series of unwarranted intimidation and threats of demolition of properties belonging to members of Edo People’s Movement”.
“EPM will like to seize this opportunity to again call on the Inspector General of Police and other relevant security agencies to call Mr Obaseki to order so that we can avoid a situation of complete lawlessness and anarchy in Edo state.”