• Appeals to security agencies for protection

From Idu Jude Abuja 

Ahead of the forthcoming Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary for Edo State gubernatorial election, leadership of Philip Shaibu Campaign Organisation, Sunday Okumayin, has expressed serious concern at the recent attack on the campaign vehicle belonging to its principal in Ekpoma, Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State.

Okumayin alleged that sponsored individuals, affiliated with another PDP aspirant, launched a violent assault on the vehicle, driven by the coordinator of the campaign in Esan West, Otoide Abas.

In a statement, yesterday, Okumayin said: “The incident occurred shortly after Abas concluded a meeting with Ward 10 Illeh PDP faithful and on his way to meet other supporters in Ekpoma, he made a quick stop at the local market square to purchase some beef barbecue (Suya).

“It was during this moment that a white Toyota bus, labelled (name withheld), suddenly appeared, and no fewer than seven heavily armed hoodlums emerged from it, creating fear and panic by shooting indiscriminately.

Related News

“Otoide reported that the same vehicle and occupants had earlier visited Illeh after the meeting, where they vandalised the chairs and canopies used for the gathering. The hoodlums then took their time to destroy the Philip Shaibu Campaign vehicle, firing multiple shots at it while Otoide and others sought safety.

“Investigations have revealed that the bus used by the assailants was the same one that transported thugs accompanying the said PDP aspirant to the Uchi Day celebration in Auchi last week.

“We find these acts of violence deeply disturbing and want to state categorically that Shaibu and his campaign organisation are committed to the well-being and progress of the people of Edo State. Unfortunately, there have been numerous attempts to hinder our campaigns, such as the repeated vandalism of our billboards by state-sponsored thugs targeting Shaibu’s candidacy.

“Shaibu, the deputy governor of Edo State and a frontline contender in the Edo 2024 gubernatorial election on the PDP platform, remains undeterred by these malicious acts. He is determined to reclaim the state from business-oriented individuals whose priorities lie in personal gain, rather than the welfare of the people.

“We call upon the security agencies in the state to urgently address these distressing events and compel the government to rein in their agents. Such violence not only undermines the democratic process but also betrays the peaceful people of Edo State, who have chosen to participate in a democratic election to free their state from conniving capitalists masquerading as statesmen. The safety and security of all participants in the election must be ensured, and those responsible for these attacks must face the full force of the law.”

Abas has reported the incident at the Ekpoma Police Station, while the campaign vehicle is being held as evidence.