The driver said the cardinal was asleep when the attack began.
“I saw a big pothole and decided to slow down the vehicle. I would have passed the spot with speed but because the cardinal was sleeping, I decided to slow down the vehicle so not to wake him up,” he said.
“Suddenly, three men came out of the palm tree plantation by the roadside and started shooting at the vehicle. I looked ahead of me and saw that two of them were firing from a distance at the vehicle and I looked behind me; another one was firing at the vehicle from behind so I decided to use reverse gear.
“Drivers of the other vehicles who saw me coming with reverse started clearing off the road and when I got to a safe distance I decided to stop and people started running towards us to see what had happened. It was then we realised that the bullets shattered the left passenger window glass and made huge holes on the panel of the door.”
He added: “We just thank God that nothing happened to the cardinal or any of us in the vehicle”.
Archbisop Augustine Akubueze of Benin City said he “thanked God that Cardinal Onaiyekan survived the attacks by some criminal elements”.
“If something had happened to him, what would have been the story? We thank God nothing happened and we are using this opportunity to appeal to the president to provide adequate security to the people of Edo State,” the archbishop added.