The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, is not a member of the party.
Obaseki also said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had directed the state APC to deal with the pro-Oshiomhole Edo Progressive Movement and the national chairman for anti-party activities. The governor, according to a Government House statement sent to our correspondent on Thursday evening, said these at a rally of the APC members from the Owan East and West Local Government Areas in Sabogida-Ora earlier on Thursday
Efforts of the APC to resolve the crisis in its Edo State chapter have so far not succeeded with factions loyal to Obaseki and Oshiomhole insisting on their positions. On November 12, the crisis worsened as each of the two rival factions suspended Oshiomhole and Obaseki. Obaseki had rejected a peace committee set up the APC National Working Committee late November on the grounds that the panel, headed by the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, was the brainchild of the Oshiomhole-led NWC
Again on November 18, the APC set up a 10-member committee, headed by the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmed Lawan, but Obaseki opposed it, saying the National Assembly leadership was a party to the crisis in Edo State. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, on Monday, said, “We can’t have a committee where we have parties in the dispute as members. It just doesn’t follow the cause of natural justice.
“ The National Assembly is in court as we speak with the House of Assembly in Edo State over the plan to come and take over the operations of the state House of Assembly and then the leaders of the same National Assembly that had wanted to take over the House of Assembly are now the head of the reconciliation committee. Senator Ahmed Lawan, the Senate President, with all due respect, and other leaders of the National Assembly are hell-bent on taking over the Edo House of Assembly.”
On Thursday, the governor said the APC in the state was united, strong and formidable, stressing that members of the EPM were not members of the party.
“Any person doing anti-party activities, President Muhammadu Buhari has asked us to deal with them. We have been told to go back to organise our party. That’s why we are here. As a ruling party in the state, we have done a lot for the Edo people, moving the state forward progressively, but the EPM are afraid of progress and will do anything to ensure we don’t get another term.”
Obaseki alleged that the EPM members were trying to frustrate the good plans of his government for the people of the state.
“Their intention is to discredit our administration, but the people of Edo know better,” he said.
Obaseki explained that his administration was achieving a lot in agriculture in the state, adding that government would soon commence work on the Sobe-Sabogida-Ora road.
Oshiomhole’s plots have failed – Gov
The governor stated, “The support here today is massive and it speaks volume, further showing that the suspended national chairman’s antics will not work. He no longer has the support of the Edo people. The act of trying to create factions of the APC in Edo State can’t work.
“We are still intact, strong and united. Our politics in Edo State is transparent and can’t tolerate any act of dubiousness. If you are a progressive, you must be a real progressive.”
The Chairman of the Owan West Local Government Area, Frank Ilaboya, commended the governor for his achievements. He said the people of the local government would support him for a second term. Also, the Chairman of the Owan-East LGA, Andy Osegwue, said the people were behind Obaseki because of his achievements.
Obaseki suffering from diarrhoea of the mouth – Oshiomhole faction
But the secretary of the Oshiomhole faction, Lawrence Okah, said the governor was a political misfit and that the Edo people should ignore him. He said it was very clear that the governor’s second term ambition had affected his sense of reasoning.
Okah stated, “We don’t really blame his ignorance because it has developed to diarrhoea of the mouth after our national chairman made him governor on a silver platter; a man that had never voted before in Edo State until last year. A man that lost his unit, ward, local government and senatorial district in the presidential election has now turned a superstar due to the fact that he controls the resources of the state. Does he even know what campaigns are? The whole world was even asking us whether he was deaf and dumb when Oshiomhole was marketing him in 2016 because he could not even speak for himself. So, it is funny when he says he now owns the Edo APC.
“We dare him to go and get his own INEC to conduct elections into the state House of Assembly for the 14 members. He will soon realise that the people of Edo State regretted the day they gave him their mandate.
“The fact remains that Obaseki is now going round the state recruiting people that he will move with him to the PDP. Just two days ago, he held a meeting with top PDP leaders in Edo State with a view to perfecting plans for his defection. But we will tell him that none of our members will join him to enter the PDP. Even his deputy, Philip Shaibu, will not follow him to the PDP.”