There was a total apprehension at King Square, popularly called Ring Road in Benin City, the Edo State capital following a clash between supporters of the All Progressives Congress and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party ahead of the September 19 governorship election.
Supporters of the governorship candidate of the APC, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and the PDP governorship candidate, Godwin Obaseki engaged in a shoot-out around the Palace of the Oba of Benin.
The PUNCH learnt that trouble started when Governor Godwin Obaseki went to the palace of the Oba of Benin on a courtesy visit but some supporters of the APC governorship candidate were said to have chanted songs allegedly demeaning the governor and his entourage.
Obaseki, however, went ahead to conclude his courtesy visit to the monarch and left for the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium where the Edo State PDP Campaign Council for the 2020 Governorship Election was billed to flag-off.
Shortly after Obaseki left at about 1.30 pm, the candidate of the APC, Ize-Iyamu and his entourage also paid a visit to the monarch but in what appeared to be a reprisal, the PDP youths who were initially at the stadium found their way to the Oba’s palace where they engaged in a free for all with their APC counterparts.
Youths and supporters from both the APC and PDP sustained various degrees of injuries, while motorists scampered to safety as some unlucky motorists had their vehicles vandalised in the heat of the confrontation.
Vehicles branded with the PDP and APC campaign logos were not spared in the attack as they tried to navigate through the Airport Road and King Square in the city.
It took the timely intervention of security agencies at the palace and other teams of police attachment on the convoy of the VIP’s including that of the APC governorship candidate and Capt. Hosa Okunbo to stop the fracas.