Suspected thugs loyal to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, nearly disrupted President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to Edo State for the foundation laying ceremony of a $1 billion (about N165 billion) Azura Gas-powered Independent Power Project in the city.
The President’s visit which was to encourage the state government for attracting such a huge investment to the state and the country was however hijacked by alleged PDP-hired thugs who stormed the Benin Airport in large number, chanting anti-Adams Oshiomhole songs.
The hoodlums, led by an alleged notorious thug in the state whose name was given as Shaba, were said to have physically assaulted some senior officials of the state government including the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon Patrick Obahiagbon, the Edo State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Anselm Ojezua and some Commissioners.
Armed with placards which bore various inscriptions, the thugs disrupted activities at the airport for several minutes as a combined team of soldiers and policemen had hectic time controlling them.
Curiously, PDP chieftains who were also at the airport to receive the President among whom was its State Chairman, Dan Orbih, the suspended Deputy Speaker of the state’s Assembly, Festus Ebea, and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu were left untouched and did nothing to bring the thugs to order.
It was gathered that soldiers were mobilized from an Air Force Base nearby and they quickly took charge, dispersing the unruly thugs from the airport before the President’s plane touched down at 10:42am.
President Jonathan was received at the airport by Governor Oshiomhole with both of them later flying in the President’s helicopter to the venue of the foundation-laying ceremony.