Security operatives on Saturday barred protesting youths from getting close to the convoy of National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Oshiomhole was in Benin to attend burial ceremony of mother of Hon Ehiozuwa Agbonyinma, late Cecilia Agbonyinma.
Heavily armed security personnel were mobilised to the Benin Airport following reports that youths were at the airport to boo Oshiomhole.
At the Airport entrance gate, there were soldiers and two police vehicles while others comprising officials of the Department of State Security, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were stationed at various points of the airport.
The airport exit gate was also manned by soldiers and policemen.
An armoured personnel carrier was seen at the airport parking lot.
The youths chanted anti-Oshiomhole songs and used other unprintable words.
At the airport to receive Oshiomhole however were Dr. Pius Odubu, General Charles Airhiavbere and other APC chieftains.
Some APC chieftains who refused to be named accused Governor Godwin Obaseki for activities of the youths.
The chieftains said it was wrong for Obaseki to always mobilise thugs to harass Oshiomhole.
It was gathered that the heavy mobilisation of security personnel was to forestall any attempt to boo Oshiomhole or prevent him from leaving the airport.
Responding yesterday, the Edo State Government said it has nothing to do with the booing of a former governor of the state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in Benin City yesterday.
In a statement, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the Edo State Government has no connection with the crowd that was reported to have booed Comrade Oshiomhole.
According to him, “It has come to our notice that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole arrived Benin today and was booed by a crowd of people. We are not directly or remotely involved in the act. We condemn insinuations that the Edo State Government is in any way involved in such an act.
“The series of anti-Oshiomhole protests across the country in the last couple of days, including those who jeered and booed Comrade Oshiomhole in Benin City, on Saturday have nothing to do with the government in Edo State. Oshiomhole, just like any other law-abiding person is welcome into the state as long as he does not engage in any activity capable of disrupting peace and safety.
“We categorically state that we are not in whatever guise involved with those who engaged in the act against the former governor.”
He stressed that the state government will continue to maintain law and order, adding that the government is committed to protecting the rights of all law-abiding citizens in the state.
Also a top Edo government official who pleaded anonymity denied involvement of Obaseki in the airport incident.
According to the official, “Oshiomhole should leave Obaseki out of his predicament. If Oshiomhole go to Port Harcourt or Bayelsa, you know the reception he will receive.
“Didn’t you see protest against him in Abuja? Was that also Obaseki? Oshiomhole has general dislike across the country. Oshiomhole’s travail is self-inflicted.”
It would be recalled that in December last year, 15 supporters of the APC loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki were hospitalised after soldiers and policemen escorting some dignitaries, including Oshiomhole that were to attend a political rally in the state, fired shots at them.
The APC supporters were carrying out a peaceful protest and had set bon fires along the Airport road when the soldiers opened fire on them.
It took Oshiomhole more than two hours to get to his residence that day