Captain Hosa Okunbo Denies Involvement
There was a bloody clash between Edo APC and PDP supporters at the Oba’s Palace in Benin City on Saturday, July 25, 2020, that lead to the destruction of properties belonging to the supporters of both political parties.
While both political parties are trading blames and claiming victims, We gathered from eye witnesses what really transpired at the Oba’s Palace.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) had fixed the campaign inauguration of its candidate for the September 19th Edo gubernatorial election, Godwin Obaseki on July 25, 2020, same day the Oba of Benin was naming his newborn prince.
However, the PDP campaign inauguration was billed to take place in the evening while the naming ceremony of the new born prince was scheduled to take place later in the evening.
As tradition demands, Governor Obaseki led the PDP delegates to the Oba Palace to seek the monarch’s blessings for the forthcoming elections before the campaign inauguration flag off.
On getting to the Oba Palace, the Governor and the PDP delegates convoy were met with jeers and boos from a partisan group who laid siege at the palace gate.
The group had branded Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s caps, APC apparels, and an Osaro Obazee sponsored banner in support of Ocean Marine, Captain Hosa Okunbo who somehow has been drawn into the battle with Governor Obaseki.
The support group claimed they were there to usher Captain Hosa Okunbo into the Palace as he was invited for the naming ceremony that was going to take place later in the day.
The PDP supporters who came along with the Governor’s convoy also joined the crowd at the Palace gate. As the APC crowd chanted Anti-Obaseki choruses, they chanted Pro-Obaseki choruses.
The environment got heated and confrontational as the governor and the PDP entourage left the palace for the campaign flag-off. Vehicles belonging to the PDP supporters were attacked.
Angered by the embarrassing incident at the palace, thugs loyal to the PDP came back for a reprisal attack which resulted in the clash that occurred.
Meanwhile, Captain Hosa Okunbo has dissociated himself from the group that booed the governor and the PDP entourage.
Okunbo condemned the incident that took place at the palace in a statement released yesterday and sued for peace. The statement reads;
“That I was invited to the Palace of the Oba of Benin for a very private ceremony, which I did not even attend with my friends; and that the private ceremony, which had no bearing at all with politics, took place hours after the booing incident happened outside the Palace”
“That I was not privy to the ugly incident during which Governor Godwin Obaseki was reportedly booed”
“That as a responsible citizen and elder statesman who respects constituted authorities, I would not subscribe to any act that tends to disrespect or denigrate any constituted authority whether in Edo State or any other State in Nigeria”
” That I sincerely frown at the brazen act of disrespect for constituted authorities by the crowd of young men who reportedly became unruly on sighting the entourage of the PDP National Campaign Council and Governor Godwin Obaseki at the palace of the Oba of Benin”
“That I will never, ever be a party to any plan, plot, action or inaction to embarrass our most revered father, Oba Ewuare II, who is non-partisan; and who plays the role of a father to all sons and daughters of the great Benin Kingdom”
“That I was not associated with the activities of the unruly crowd and therefore could not have been sent to the palace by me to embarrass the PDP entourage, including the State Governor whom I respect as the number one citizen of the State”
“That I have an equal measure of respect for other State Governors who were on the entourage with Governor Godwin Obaseki, some of whom are my personal friends; and could not have encouraged any plot to boo or embarrass them”
“That just as I was not privy to the ugly incident outside the palace of the Oba Of Benin, our revered Royal Father, Oba Ewuare II, was also not even aware of what transpired outside until later after he had been briefed about it”
“That those who made insinuations linking me with the ugly incident were just trying to drag me into their politics and create the impression in certain quarters that I was responsible for their rejection by the people”
“That I state solemnly that, in my position as a role model to our teeming youths who look up to me for guidance and support, I cannot, under any guise, undertake directly or sanction indirectly any action that will place me in a position of disrepute before them and other well-meaning members of the society”
“That, for the records, our revered Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, will not, at all times, condone any act of indiscipline by the youths”
“That I urge my good people of Edo State, associates and supporters to rest assured that I remain the person they have, good neighborliness who is committed to the promotion of peace, security and orderliness in our society”
“That I have always preached to the hearing of everybody that the ambition of any man is not worth the blood of any Edolite”
” That I call on all Edo people to join hands to ensure that they eschew violence in the electioneering by the political parties and in the forthcoming September 19, 2020 governorship election”