Edo: Pro, anti-Oshiomhole forces fight dirty
Written by MaryGift Sunday on May 22, 2020
AN end to the steaming crisis in the All Progressives Congress, APC, especially in Edo State, is far from over. Concerned stakeholders of the party in Edo, yesterday in a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari, said that the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s “unforced losses” and waging of “endless unprovoked battles against Edo APC” may hurt the party’s chances in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Also, a faction of the party in Edo has taken on a former national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, urging him to stop acting as Governor Godwin Obaseki’s hireling.
The faction was responding to Oyegun’s claims that a reconciliation meeting was held where it was agreed that for the party to retain the state, its governorship ticket should be ceded to Governor Obaseki.
This is coming as many APC governorship aspirants desirous of stopping Obaseki from getting a second term have intensified horse-trading to present a consensus candidate against the incumbent at the APC primaries.
After what seemed like a ray of light in the APC crisis, the hornet’s nest was stirred on Wednesday when the Deputy National Chairman (North), Lawal Shuaibu, warned that the party risks disintegration, and losing the Edo and Ondo governorship polls, if the alleged arbitrariness and lawlessness of Oshiomhole were not checked.
Shuaibu, who faulted Monday’s inauguration of Waziri Bulama as the party’s Acting National Secretary by Oshiomhole queried his decision to personally constitute both the screening committees for the governorship and senatorial elections, as well as the final appeals committee, all in violation of the extant constitutional provisions of the party vesting the power in the National Executive Committee, NEC.
Why consensus must be built behind Obaseki – Oyegun Yesterday, Odigie-Oyegun urged the APC to hand second term tickets to Governors Obaseki (Edo) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) in line with a recent peace deal or ensure free and fair primary elections in both states by unbiased party leaders.
In an advertorial, he said: “I welcome most warmly the news that Mr. President has firmly endorsed the agreement reached to settle the disruptive leadership crisis at the national level that was threatening the very existence of the All Progressives Congress. The immediate relevant part of that agreement was that both the governors; Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki of Edo State and Mr. Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, of Ondo State, having performed creditably should be returned unless they do not so wish. This means that the party, in unity, should organize to support the return of both governors.”
Odigie-Oyegun hoped and prayed that a consensus could be built behind Governor Obaseki because “he has not offended any aspect of the APC’s constitution nor has he in any way brought the party to disrepute.
“He has performed in an exemplary manner. In his time, there has been peace and freedom for the ordinary Edo man and woman from harassment by official thugs. Through him, Edo State must prove that our democracy can only survive if we do not create a situation where an individual or a small group can make or unmake our governors or other elected officials at will.’’
However, he said if consensus could not be built behind the incumbent Obaseki, “everything must be done to ensure that the persons in the leadership of the party at the centre who are part of the contrived crisis in Edo State must not even remotely be allowed to plan, participate or supervise the primary election.
“It is of critical importance that the primary be seen, even by a blind man, to be free and fair, otherwise there could be political consequences. Allowing any member(s) of the national leadership who have been involved in the contrived crisis in Edo State would equate to making such person or persons judges in their own case. This is contrary to the principle of natural justice and will be naturally resisted.”
Don’t be Obaseki’s hireling, Edo APC faction tells Oyegun
Tackling Odigie-Oyegun, factional State Publicity Secretary of Edo APC, Mr Chris Azebamwan, challenged the former party chairman to name those he accused of contriving crises in the state chapter of the party.
He said: “It is not in our character, upbringing or culture to take an elder to task, especially an elder with the towering stature and credentials of Pa John Odigie-Oyegun who retired as a federal super-permanent secretary, has been a state governor and served as national chairman of a major political party. He celebrated his 80th birthday recently, and we wish him many more years of service to the nation.
“Against this background, one is at a loss to understand why Chief Odigie-Oyegun would make utterances that portray him as a mouthpiece or hireling of Godwin Obaseki. That the forthcoming primaries in Edo State would be credible is not in doubt. ‘’It is neither desirable nor in the interest of anyone to compromise the process, and in so doing, give room for the courts to intervene and upturn the results. The leadership of APC is determined to conduct credible primaries. In addition, one would have expected Chief Odigie-Oyegun to name or identify those he claims are contriving a crisis in Edo State.”