Reconciliation appears foreclosed for warring members of the Edo State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), with the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki insisting that the National Chairman of the party and immediate past governor of the state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has been suspended from the party.
Besides, he announced that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), would soon fix a date to conduct a fresh election into the State House of Assembly.
Obaseki who spoke while addressing APC members from Owan East and West Local Government Areas in Sabogida-Ora, said there is no division in the state APC, but threatened that all those working to destabilize the party would be shown the way out.
He said the APC in the state is united, strong and formidable, stressing that members of the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) are not members of the APC.
“Members of the EPM are trying to frustrate the good plans we have for Edo people as their plan is to burn markets and government buildings. Their intention is to discredit our administration but the people of Edo know better.
“APC is one party; those that say they are in EPM are not APC, including their National Chairman who we have suspended in Edo State. Those mistakenly elected into Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA) who are members of EPM have been thrown out and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is aware and will soon announce a date for a fresh election, where we would have opportunity to elect credible representatives who will represent us in the House.
“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 Edo people, moving the state forward progressively but EPM is afraid of progress and will do anything to ensure we don’t get another term”, he Obaseki said.
Describing himself as “a governor for development”, the governor added “The support here today is massive and it speaks volumes, further showing that the suspended National Chairman’s antics will not work.
“He no longer has the support of Edo people. The act of trying to create a faction of 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”.
Incensed by his comments, the State Secretary of the APC, Mr. Lawrence Okah, in a statement, described Obaseki as an “embarrassment and a political misfit” and urged party members to ignore him.
”It is very clear and obvious that the governor’s second term ambition has affected his sense of reasoning. We don’t really blame his ignorance because he developed diarrhea of the mouth after our national chairman made him governor on a platter of gold.
“A man that has 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 campaign is? The whole world was even asking us whether he was deaf and dumb when Oshiomhole was marketing him in 2016 because he cannot even speak for himself. So it is funny when he said he now owns the Edo APC.
“We dare him to go get his own INEC to conduct the election in the state House of Assembly for the 14 members. He will soon realize that the people of Edo State regretted the day they gave him their mandate.
“The fact remains that Obaseki is now going around the state recruiting people that 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 PDP. Even his deputy, Philip Shaibu will not follow him to PDP.
“If he is a man like he claims, he should have met face to face with the National Chairman of our great party, to discuss any matter bothering him rather than abusing Oshiomhole in his backward.
“He is an embarrassment to our party and the country and we are sorry to the great men and women of this party for the daily embarrassment the governor is exhibiting. We are indeed very sorry. I want to urge our people to disregard his careless statements and remain focus. Edo State APC under our indisputable leader, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, remains solid”.