Jethro Ibileke/Benin

Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress

Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress

The crisis rocking the Edo state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is gradually degenerating into a worrisome development, as a Ward Chairman of the party, Sylvester Okoro, was on Monday given the beating of his life by suspected thugs who allegedly invaded the resident of Ehisco Matthew, a leader of the party, at Benoni, GRA, Benin, for unconfirmed reasons.

It was however gathered that the suspected thugs learnt that Mr. Matthew allegedly connived with some ward leaders in the party and shifted their meetings usually held at the party’s secretariat in Orhionmwon to his house, allegedly with the intention of engaging in some shady deals.

Another insider who preferred anonymity, in his own version of the story, alleged that Mr. Matthew who is a leader of the APC in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of the state, is not happy that the Edo state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has decided to support Mr. Godwin Obaseki as candidate of the party in the forthcoming governorship election, against the candidate of their choice and thus decided to convene an emergency meeting in his house to suspend those in support of the choice of the state governor.

It was gathered that hell broke loose at the venue of the meeting when Mr. Sylvester Okoro who is chairman of Evbuosi ward, attempted to go into the meeting but was vehemently prevented from entering, and was manhandled, with his clothes into torn into pieces.

Narrating his ordeal, Mr. Okoro, said it was on Sunday he knew about the meeting at the party’s chairman’s house and he decided to attend, but to his greatest surprise, getting to the meeting, he was given the beating of his life and barred from entering.

“It was yesterday we received a message that we will be having a meeting today in our [ward] chairman’s house. So, we said OK, what is the time? They said 10 O’clock this morning. I could not go back yesterday because we were still having another meeting in Benin. So I had to pass the night here in Benin.

“Getting to this morning, I got prepared and parked my pathfinder SUV somewhere. Coming in, I saw people chasing me out, saying I should not come into the house. I asked what is happening? This a meeting they called that the whole ward chairmen should assemble here today by 10 0’clock. Before I could know it, they started beating me. They tore my clothes, collected one of my phones, took two hundred thousand from the back of my pocket. I do not tell lies as you can see. It was after much investigations that they returned the money,” he lamented.

Mr. Okoro who said he committed no wrong doing in honouring an invitation to attend the meeting, however said he could not identify his assailants.

On his part, Mr. Ehisco Matthew who expressed sadness over the incident at his residence, said the elders of the party from Orhionmwon usually meet in his house to brainstorm on how each ward is faring, find solution to those having problems. He said it was on that note he invited the twelve ward chairmen to his house for the meeting.

As at the time of filling this report, the State Publicity Secretary of APC, Godwin Erhahon could not be reached on phone for comment.