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 President Muhammadu Buhari 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.
The governor said, “The APC is one party. Those that say they are in the EPM are not APC, including their national chairman, who we have suspended in Edo State. Those mistakenly elected into Edo State House of Assembly, who are members of the EPM, have been thrown out and the Independent National Electoral Commission is aware and will soon announce a date for a fresh election, where we will 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 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.
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.
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.”
He said, “If he (Obaseki) is a man like he claims, he should have met with the national chairman of our great party to discuss any matter bothering him rather than abusing Oshiomhole in his back. He is an embarrassment to our party. We say 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 focussed. The Edo State APC under our indisputable leader, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, remains solid.”
“In the last meeting, the President commended the national chairman, that he didn’t know where he got his energy from. It is the same man Obaseki thinks he is deriding. The President advised everyone to accept that the party is supreme.
“At the last NEC meeting, he agreed to the setting up of the national reconciliation committee which has been done. The same Mr President couldn’t have said as quoted by Obaseki go and deal with who? That is not the language of Mr President. It is the content of his head and not of the President.”
He said he was sure INEC would not conduct any by-election into the state assembly.
He added, “INEC as a responsible institution will not conduct any election because it is aware there is no vacancy. The commission is never an offshoot of the man (Obaseki) who doesn’t have control over his speech. He is only embarking on a voyage of discovery, he talks before he reasons.
“He thinks this is the only way he can test his popularity which he has already lost. This is not the first time he will say things that will never find the light of the day. He has recorded lots of shame in the past from what he said would happen and never happened. We are waiting for him. He met us in this party. He will leave us in this party. The APC is our party.”