Police probe explosion at Edo APC secretary’s residence


A bomb exploded on Tuesday at the residence of All Progressives Congress (APC) factional State Secretary in Edo State, Mr Lawrence Okah.

The bomb shattered a part of the building and dug a hole on the ground.

No life was lost even as another explosive did not detonate.

A team of police anti-bomb squad was at the residence at about 8 am to remove the undetonated explosive.

Okah, who is of the faction loyal to APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, said the incident occurred at about 12:30am.

He accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of plotting to kill him, an allegation the governor dismissed.

Obaseki said Oshiomhole’s loyalists in the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) were known for violence.

Okah, who took reporters to the explosion scene, said gunmen had last Tuesday fired at his bedroom.

He alleged that the governor had threatened him.

“On Tuesday last week, I heard gunshots. They shot at my bedroom. The police came and picked 52 bullets here.

“Yesterday (Tuesday) at about 12:30, I heard a noise like a 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 had detonated, you would not have seen me.

“That was targeted at 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.”

A former Secretary to the State Government and governorship aspirant, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who was at Okah’s residence along with others, condemned the act of violence.

He said it took God’s grace for Okah not to have been killed, adding that others opposed to Obaseki’s second term bid had been targeted.

He called for a stop to the acts of violence, urging the governor to speak out against them.

“Our desire for peace is not a sign of weakness. This rubbish must stop. They must call their people to order. This is not the work of robbers. Armed robbers cannot throw a 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.

A former Edo Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Henry Idahagbon, also condemned the attack.


He said: “As we speak, not one single arrest has been made even though we have a good idea about those behind this heinous crime. It is time the Presidency gets involved in the affairs of Edo State.

“They should not wait until all of us are killed before they intervene. There is a killer-squad roaming the streets of Bénin looking for us to kill. By the grace of God we will see the end of this government,” he said.

But, Obaseki, through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy Crusoe Osagie, blamed the EPM member for the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party.

He said his administration was open to reconciliation, even as he accused EPM members of trying to foist a declaration of a state of emergency in the state.

He said: “We are quite flustered that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has not been able to rein in his people in the face of the reconstitution of the APC National Reconciliation Committee tasked to restore lasting peace in the party both in the state and across the country.

“We are committed to peace and would do right by the people of Edo State by continually supporting all credible means to arrive at lasting peace in the state.

“At the same time, we want to state clearly that Ize-Iyamu, Comrade Oshiomhole and their cohorts are the common denominators of political violence in Edo State.”

Osagie said the governors urged the Presidency and the Inspector-General to call Oshiomhole, Ize-Iyamu and other EPM members to order.

The Edo State Police Command said it was investigating the explosion.

It said its personnel from the anti-bomb squad detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) inside a can.

Edo Police spokesman Chidi Nwabuzor, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said an investigation had begun.

He restated the commitment of the police to protect lives and property.



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