The home of the Secretary of Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Lawrence Okah, was on Tuesday attacked with Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) in Benin City.
The explosion damaged part of the building and created a crater in the compound, even as second device failed to explode.
The attack which was carried out after midnight on Monday, came bare10 days after similar attack was carried out on the residence of a chieftain of the party, Chief Fransis Inegbeneki in Benin.
Reacting to the incident yesterday, Okah pointedly accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of plotting to kill him over second term ambition.
Conducting journalists round his residence, Okah disclsed that gunmen had last week Tuesday fired shots at his bedroom, alleging that Governor Obaseki had earlier threatened him and has carried out the threat with the attacks.
”On Tuesday last week, I heard gunshots. They shot at my bedroom. The police came and picked 52 bullets here.
”Yesterday at about 12:30, I heard a noise like boom. I called my security and they said it looked like a bomb. The one they threw at my bedroom did not detonate. If that one has detonated, you would not have seen me to be talking to you.
”That was targeted to my room. If it had exploded it would have been a different story. I just want to advise Mr. Governor. He has threatened me before and he has carried out the threat.
”By the grace of God we are alive to speak to our people to let them know what is going on. We pray to God for those we help not to turn around against us. If by the Grace of God I am one of those that helped this government to be and the Governor has turned now to kill my enemy”.
Commenting on the incident, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who was present at Okah’s residence with other top APC stalwats, said Governor Obaseki and his Deputy, Philip Shaibu must not kill to get second term, threatening to
arrest the perpetrators if the police failed to arrest them.
He said the perpetrators do not have the capacity to sustain what they are doing because if they push them to the wall, the consequences would be disastrous.
”The man simply, is in the forefront, in saying he will not support the Governor because he has not done well, gunmen went to his office and opened fire. It is just the grace of God that nobody died in his office. They were shooting to kill.
”They went to Chief Inegbeneki’s house and threw bomb there. Who will go and throw a bomb in his own house because they want to do mischief. Chief Inegbeneki offence was that he was coordinating a rally in his hometown in Irrua. Lawrence Okah has been the subject of a lot of attacks and attention.
”Some days ago he reported that gunmen shot at his house. If not for the grace of God, the people living here would have passed away. If they had been killed, would Godwin Obaseki and Philip Shaibu had told us everybody should go and mind their casualties. Enough is enough. Let us warn them. They are strangers in this land. They should not take us for granted. They don’t have the capacity to sustain what they are doing because if they push us to the wall, the consequences will be disastrous.
”We have been talking peace to our people but if they begin to think that immunity is a license to kill, they will be mistaken. They need to be very careful. This thing must stop. All these have been happening and the Governor has pretended he is not aware. People are being shot and he does not condemn the act. This one has happened and the Governor will be silent. What peace committee are we talking about when these people are throwing bombs in homes. Must they kill because they want a second term.
”People like us have tried to engage them, all we get are insults. Our desire for peace is not a sign for weakness. This rubbish must stop. They must call their people to order. This is not the work of robbers. Armed robbers cannot throw bomb and walk away. This was politically motivated. Lawrence Okah is Secretary of this party. You cannot force him to do your bidding. If you want him to work for you, you must submit yourself to the party”, Ize-Iyamu said.
On allegations that he once accused Oshiomhole of booming his wife’s clinic, Pastor Ize-Iyamu explained that he said then that officials of the state government carried out the act.
”Was Philip Shaibu not prominent in that government? Haruna was prominent in that government. We know the people involved. The fact that we are saying Adams Oshiomhole government does not mean we do not know the officials who believe in violence. Oshiomhole has constantly told Shaibu that violence will not work. We need to warn the young man that he cannot continue his excesses. Being Deputy Governor is not licence. They are strangers in this land and we will not allow them turn this state to a battle field.
”We will continue to call our people to maintain peace. If we want to retaliate, this city will be turned into a war zone. It is time the security agencies start to make arrest. The culprits will not be difficult to find. Who are the culprits? Who are encouraging them is obvious? They should not push us where by we look for these people and begin to arrest them. We can arrest them until the police do their work. We don’t want to take the laws into our hands. We appeal to the police not to wait for people to die before they realise this matter is serious. They have used guns now they are using bombs. We don’t know what next they will use.
Also commenting on the attack, a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Edo State, Henry Idahagbon, described it as a state sponsored terrorism.
”As we speak, not one single arrest has been made even though we have a good idea about those behind this heinous crime.