A few weeks ago, the Vice Chairman of Ward 8, Akoko-Edo Council, Pa Samuel Dania was an unknown personality. A poor agrarian farmer who played part-time politics, nothing in his stars ever told him that he would one day become famous, even while tucked away in the remote rural heartland of Ikpeshi village in Akoko Edo Local Government Headquarters in Edo state.
But today he is a newsmaker; not through personal efforts but by providence. Since last week, his fame has transcended though negatively from the hills of Ikpeshi, beyond Igarra, the local government headquarters to Abuja, the nation’s capital to the whole world via a viral video on the internet.
Shot by the very same irate youths who invaded his privacy, the actors, about five of them – all members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo, allegedly assaulted Pa Dania with three others, as one of the youths chanted, “Video it now!” as the weak helpless elderly man was brought out from a house, dragged on the floor and beaten with sticks and machete.
They forced him to pull off his clothes in front of his wife and children, as well as bewildered onlookers! Without any resistance, but a weak cry of pain, the mobile phone dangling youth filming the gory scene is seen shouting, “I am on (the) media, direct”, apparently informing others that he was filming the scene, and perhaps uploading it on social media.
At the end, what the group of Ikpeshi youths sought to use in disgracing a man old enough to be their grandpa has now turned into an albatross with condemnations coming from far and wide.
Edo State Government has already vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. Chief of Staff to the Edo State Governor, Osaigbovo Iyoha, in a statement, said that preliminary investigations revealed that the incident occurred in Edo State, as the persons in the video spoke in a language indigenous to the state.
He said that the state government with its uncompromising commitment to maintaining law and order frowns at all forms of violence and is particularly appalled by the content of the video.
According to him, government has ordered security agencies to investigate the incident to ensure that anyone found culpable is made to face the full weight of extant laws in the state, particularly the Violence Against Persons (VAP) Law.
The National Vice Chairman, South South, of PDP, Chief Dan Orbih has also called on the security agents to thoroughly investigate the criminal act, which became public few days after gunmen, intercepted a school bus conveying pupils and abducted two of the pupils before making for a nearby forest. The bus belongs to Glory Land Group of Schools in the locality.
Orbih said that the security agents must fish out the perpetrators of the act as well as, “those who might have remotely or closely aided their actions, and make them face the full consequences of their debasing actions. This will serve as a deterrent for others who wish to take laws into their hands”.
Urging members of PDP in the local government to remain calm and go about their robust political engagements, he said no stone would be left unturned to apprehend the perpetrators and to face the full wrath of the law.
” I urge our Party members to continue to engage in peaceful and constructive political activities in line with our Party’s constitution”.
In the same vein, PDP in Edo State has also condemned the content the viral video on Pa Samuel Dania and others.
In a statement Dr. Tony Aziegbemi, the Edo State PDP chairman, said that the attack on Pa Samuel Dania and other leaders of the party in the locality, “… was particularly more painful to watch”, he is an elder and a victim of such callous act of brigandage.
“The assault was unwarranted, unacceptable, condemnable and the party calls on the security agencies to investigate the matter and ensure the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of this senseless crime.
“Edo PDP is known as a peaceful, united and vibrant political party where dialogue is our watchword. We encourage political engagements and contestations which must be guided by the tenets of our constitution. While we encourage our members to exercise their democratic right of free speech, respect, restraint and decorum should be their watchword.
“No political party, especially not PDP, will be at ease seeing the said video. It pricks at the sensibilities of all of us and we must all condemn it.”
Aziegbemi therefore urged party members to remain calm as the party call on the police to ensure speedy investigation and possible prosecution of all those involved in this heinous crime, adding, “We are PDP, this does not depict our PDP.”