Oshiomhole, Obaseki count cost of crises in Rivers, Edo APC
• Kogi SDP candidate laments godfathering, thuggery
The national chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has expressed dismay at the cost of acrimonious supremacy struggles in some state chapters, even as he vowed to reconcile warring members of the party in oil-rich Rivers State. Oshiomhole, who said he is still at pains that the party could not boast of winning any elective seat in Rivers State in the 2019 general election due to the crises, blamed the squabble between the faction led by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and the one led by Senator Magnus Abe.
The APC chairman spoke yesterday while inaugurating a five-member caretaker committee of the party for Rivers State, led by Mr. Isaac Abott Ogbobula, at the APC national secretariat in Abuja.But while the national chairman was agonizing over the Rivers’ crisis, his political godson, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, handed out a strict warning to his aides, saying they should not respond to incendiary remarks from the national chairman aimed at distracting him from delivering on his mandate from Edo people.
Obaseki, who spoke against the background of perceived hostile comments credited to Oshiomhole, said he prefers “pursuing the path of peace for the sake of Edo people” instead of fighting the former governor.
In a statement jointly signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie and the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Mr. Paul Ohonbamu, the Edo State chief executive barred every actor within the state government from joining issues with Oshiomhole.
The statement said: “The Edo State Government observed over the weekend, leading to this week, very hostile statements credited to our revered National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, across the various media platforms, including radio, television, newspapers and the social media.
“This onslaught against the governor and government of Edo State, widely publicised, has also been trailed by enquiries about the state government’s response to these attacks, from various stakeholders, both within and outside the country.” On his part, the national chairman argued that the development in Rivers State “was not in tandem with the wishes and aspiration of the electorate in the state.” He therefore charged members of the caretaker committee to place the interest of the party ahead of their personal interests in the discharge of their functions, promising to send a high powered delegation to reconcile aggrieved members of the party in the state.
He said: “It behooves on members of the party in Rivers state to ensure a peaceful conduct of the ward, local government and state congresses billed to hold before the end of the year. “Only God knows what the outcome of the last election would have been in Rivers if we validly contested those elections. But, what is clear is that there is no way we would have recorded zero. As things stand today, we don’t have an elected person in Rivers and this cannot be the outcome of the will of the Rivers people, who I know wanted a change and are familiar with some of the key drivers in this process.
“For reasons which I don’t want to repeat, we were not able to manage our internal contestations which is not unusual in a democracy. In a genuine democracy, there must be more than one opinion eve when the destination is not in dispute.” Oshiomhole remarked that in a democracy, the important thing is that at the end of the day, the majority would have their say as the party proceeds to work and ensure that it delivers “on the commitment we made to our people.
“So, I hope that the huge setback that we have suffered in Rivers State may well be the ingredient we need not to tow the part that will lead us to another perpetual house that will be divided against itself.”He enjoined the caretaker committee to put the interest of the party first, the interest of the second and the interest of the party last, adding, “your personal friendship and opinion must be downplayed for this bigger interest to manifest.”
The national chairman noted that although as human beings, we have sentiments and feelings, “sometimes, we have pains about what has happened to us,” saying that it is how we are able to manage objectively and do justice to all manner of persons in spite of personal reservations and pains that matters.
His words: “What we need at this time is to ensure that you have learnt your lessons and approach your work, by putting the interest of APC members in account and go down in history as having provided a base for the party to conduct a credible congress.“Anybody who understand the challenge that you face should rather commensurate with you because you do have the challenging task of earning the confidence and trust of the various interest groups in Rives state.
“The fact that those taking sides with the various shades of opinion has not helped us and we are all net losers in Rivers state. That is the incentive you need to put behind you personal sentiment and be guided by the overall interest of the APC family.”Earlier, the caretaker chairman, Ogbobula, expressed gratitude to the APC leadership for reposing confidence in the committee to administer the state chapter pending the outcome of the congresses. He promised to live up to the expectations of the party.
Intrusion of political godfathers
Meanwhile, the Kogi State gubernatorial candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the November 16 poll, Natasha Akpoti, expressed her disenchantment over the intrusion of political godfathers and thuggery saying they undermine democratic principles. Akpoti, who spoke when the National Association of Blind Women in Nigeria, led by Amina Usman, visited her, said she is in the governorship race to confront thuggery and godfathering head on.
She the twin evils of godfathers and politics thugs have continued to make things difficult for elected officials to discharge their constitutional responsibilities to the electorate. According to, the crucial sectors of human development, particularly education, health and reproductive health of women would be funded to reduce the burden on women, whose main concerns are for the welfare of their children.
She stated: “It does not cost much to make the public school functional and the envy of all, by providing for functional hospitals to cater for the healthcare needs to Kogi people.“If elected I promise to the ambassador of the disabled and women. I will also inspire younger women to dare the status quo for a better life.”
Amina Usman tasked Kogi women to urge their husbands, who may be contesting the governorship to step down for Akpoti, adding that all blind women in the state would troop out on November 16 with their PVCs to vote for the SDP candidate. She noted that since women are known as caregivers, the election of Natasha Akpoti as governor would wipe away the tears of women and persons living with disability in the state.
Her words: “When we heard that there is a female candidate we decided to work for her. We were imagining and thinking of ways out, solutions to get the phone number of the blind women in Kogi and since we are also physically challenged we planned on how to get the phone numbers of the disable women there and men for them to come out en masse and vote for Natasha.”
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