Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, on Saturday accused the Peoples Democratic Party in the state of planning to use a section of students of the University of Benin to unleash mayhem on innocent people in the state following the recent disagreement between the state government and the federal institution over ownership of a property.
Oshiomhole, who stated this in Benin during a television broadcast to the people of the state, alleged that the leadership of the PDP in the state had held series of meetings at the residence of one of the candidates of the party, where the plan to recruit students and thugs to raze petrol tankers in strategic parts of the state capital, which could lead to the loss of innocent lives and property, was hatched.
The governor alleged that huge sums of money had been provided by the opposition party for the students to mobilise more people as the they resumed on Saturday so “that by Monday, they will mobilise enough students with these funds provided by the leadership of the opposition party in this state to cause mayhem in Benin City”.
He added, “Part of the plan is that these students, working and providing cover for party thugs, will hijack petrol tankers, block roads with them and they anticipate rightly that the security agencies would resist them. They plan to set these tankers ablaze and, in the process, create confusion.
“And in their estimation, this could easily lead to loss of lives. And of course, they believe rightly that, once there is loss of lives, the situation would escalate and they believe they could profit from such violence.
“They are determined to hide under the cover of this issue between the University of Benin Management and Edo State Government to create a crisis and cause diversion, the governor said”.
It would be recalled that students of the institution had on January 6, protested the demolition of the residential quarters of their lecturers by the state government.
They were also alleged to have set a state mass transit bus ablaze, which was used to barricade a section of the Benin-Lagos Expressway, locking down traffic for several hours.