Benin City – Five persons have been reported to be injured following a clash between APC and PDP supporters at the Palace of the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II. The clash came as the governor of Edo State visited the revered traditional ruler on a solidarity campaign visit.
The reason for the class is not known yet but it is unclear what APC supporters were doing at the palace at that time. The governor was said to have left before the clash occurred. Heavy gunshots was heard during the clash but it remains unclear if the injuries were from gunshots.
Tension has been high in the state following the governor’s re-election bid for a second term in office after a strained relationship with his benefactor and former governor Adams Oshiomole. The governor had ridden on the popularity of the ex-governor to office but things fell apart as the governor tended towards independence.
The Governor Godwin Obaseki had defeated the former Chief of Staff and SSG, pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who had fell out with Oshiomole and decamped to the PDP where he flew the party’s flag. It was a bitter campaign of words as Oshiomole alleged the pastor was a fake pastor, a corrupt politician, a cultist and one who poured acid on the private part of a female student so was expelled from the University of Benin. Ize-Iyamu denied the allegations but went on to lose the election and failed at the election petition tribunal.
Things took a switch as the crisis between the former governor and Obaseki escalated. Pastor Osagie decamped back to the APC hence heightening the crisi as he was seen as being brought in by Oshiomole who was the National Chairman of the APC to bring down Obaseki. Oshiomole was subsequently suspended from the party by his ward and eventually eased out as National Chairman following a court ruling that affirmed his non membership of the party.
Governor Obaseki before the court affirmation had been disqualified from contesting the party;s primary on allegation of faulty credentials. He decamped to the PDP and went on to win the party’s ticket by consensus following the withdrawal of the other candidates after a tough challenge from the others.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Governor Godwin Obaseki are all subjects of the Oba of Benin whose families have a strong royal history at the palace. Would the Oba intervene in bringing calm and peace among his subjects and sons at this time? Time will tell. The Oba is highly respected among his subjects and far beyond. what role he plays at this critical time will go a long way to calm nerves.