Thugs suspected to be PDP members attack LP guber candidate in Benin

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By Owen Eresoyen, Benin

Chaos and bloodshed marked what should have been a peaceful event on the grounds of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) yesterday.

An interactive session, award, and investiture ceremony by the UNIBEN Senior Staff Club, featuring Labour Party gubernatorial candidate, Olumide Osaigbovo Akpata, was violently disrupted when a group of armed thugs masquerading as students stormed the premises under the pretext that their permission was not sought.

The shocking attack unfolded at the Professor Godwin Oshodin Pavilion, where Akpata, an alumnus of UNIBEN, was seated and prepared to engage with staff members.

Without warning, the thugs masquerading as students, brandishing an array of deadly weapons, including firearms, cudgels, and knives, invaded the venue in an attempt to assassinate the gubernatorial candidate.

“It was absolutely terrifying,” recalled one attendee who is a member of the Club and spoke on condition of anonymity. “One moment we were eagerly awaiting Akpata’s remarks, and the next, these vicious thugs were among us, weapons in hand. It was clear they intended to carry out an assassination. I have been a member of this Staff Club for almost 30 years, and I have never seen anything like this.

“Akpata’s life was spared only by the swift intervention of security personnel, who reportedly enabled his narrow escape from the melee. However, the violence left one senior UNIBEN lecturer brutally assaulted and currently clinging to life at a local hospital.

“The bloodshed contrasts starkly with a recent incident-free event involving the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate in the same UNIBEN Staff Club, fueling allegations that the PDP orchestrated the attack. Multiple witnesses claim the thugs were PDP hirelings tasked with eliminating the increasingly popular Akpata”, he added.

Allegations are swirling that the PDP orchestrated the attack. Multiple eyewitnesses have come forward claiming the thugs were hired by the party to eliminate Akpata, whose surging popularity is viewed as a major threat to the PDP’s ambitions in the upcoming Edo State gubernatorial elections.