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Obaseki, Oshiomhole, APC factions trade blame over Edo State crisis

By Michael Egbejule, Benin City
23 December 2019   |   3:49 am
A Faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo yesterday faulted Governor Godwin Obaseki’s rejection of the National Reconciliation Committee constituted by the national leadership

Obaseki. Photo: TWITTER

A Faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo yesterday faulted Governor Godwin Obaseki’s rejection of the National Reconciliation Committee constituted by the national leadership to reconcile party members in some states.

A statement by the factional state chairman and secretary, Col. David Imuse and Lawrence Okah, distanced the group from the governor’s decision.

It read in part: “The attention of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State has been drawn to newspaper advertorials and reports by the Edo State Government, wherein Governor Godwin Obaseki rejected the newly-constituted National Reconciliation Committee set up to address the problems bedeviling our party in some states.

“While we welcome the setting up of the committee, which was one of the decisions at the last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of our great party, which had our dear President Muhammadu Buhari in attendance, the APC in Edo State dissociates itself from the decision of the governor and his cohorts who no longer see anything good in our great party.

“For quite some time now, we have cried to the world that Governor Obaseki is the problem the APC has in Edo State but some persons whom he, unfortunately, brainwashed listen to his lies. However, Edo people, who are the voters, know the truth about Obaseki.

“It will interest President Buhari and other leaders of our party that this is the fourth time Governor Obaseki would reject trouble-shooting committees on Edo State and decisions made by respected institutions in this country.”

On the alleged suspension of the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, by another faction of the party, the duo maintained that “there was no time, our National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, was suspended from his ward.

“It is laughable that Governor Obaseki who does not understand the constitution of the APC will gather his SAs and commissioners to Government House to announce that they have suspended our leaders, including Comrade Oshiomhole. How can a Governor who lost his ward, LGA and senatorial district in the last general election say he has suspended people who won their areas for the APC? That is laughable.”

The state government Edo had rejected the composition of the Senate President Ahmed Lawan-led panel, alleging that it was “populated by persons with vested interests in the crisis rocking the ruling party.”

In a statement, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Paul Ohonbamu, and Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said “some of the members of the committee such as Senator Ahmed Lawan and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Wase, meddled in the altercation between Edo State Government and the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and could not now be adjudicators on the matter.”

They stated: “We believe the committee does not only fall short of the most basic of integrity test but is also a disservice to genuine efforts to bring a lasting solution to the crisis rocking different chapters of the APC across the country.

“To the specifics, Senator Lawan and Ahmed Wase in the Senate and the House of Representatives presided over the plenary sessions where the motions to take over the Edo State House of Assembly were deliberated. They are also parties in the court case, in which the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt ruled that the National Assembly cannot take over the functions of the Edo State Assembly.”

“The NWC, which constituted the reconciliation committee, is presided over by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who is a key actor in the crisis in Edo State. With this move, it amounts to him also being the judge in his own case.”

The Obaseki administration noted that governors of APC-controlled states were not consulted prior to the composition of the committee, “which was an indication that the national chairman still acts like an ‘emperor,’ a trait that is exacerbating the crisis in the party.”

Meanwhile, the Edo state Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has insisted that the ‘refusal’ by 15 members-elect of the state Assembly to subscribe to the oath of membership/allegiance throughout the first session and first quarter of the seventh Assembly amounts to an abdication of office.

The party, in a statement in Benin City signed by the state publicity secretary, Chris Nehikhare, hinted that it had written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificates of return of the affected lawmakers whose seats were recently declared vacant by the leadership of the legislative chamber.