PERHAPS, UNSURE OF HIS OWN FUTURE in Edo State All Progressive Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole’s faction of the ruling party, on the umbrella of “Edo Peoples Movement”, EPM, Wednesday, said it has suspended Governor Godwin Obaseki, of Edo State, for alleged anti-party activity. Philip Shaibu, Deputy Governor, and Ogie Osarodion, Secretary to the State Government were also said to be suspended.
Earlier, on Tuesday, Edo State APC chairman, Anselm Ojezua, leading APC main faction behind Governor Obaseki, suspended Oshiomhole from the party. Ojezua’s statement, accused Oshiomhole of fanning the internal crisis in the State. Oshiomhole and Godwin Obaseki are lurked in battle over who leads the party structure in the State. Edo State APC local politics have been overwhelming Oshiomhole, against national party assignment.
Wednesday, APC at the national level, reacted to what seemed Oshiomhole’s dereliction to duty, as its National Chairman, and his needless focus on Edo State local politics. APC Progressive Governors Forum, Director-General, Salihu Lukman’s statement, gave Adams Oshiomhole ultimatum to convene National Executive Council, NEC, meeting to address the party’s challenges or resign his position.
“It is either Comrade Oshiomhole respect the provision of the party constitution and convene superior organ meeting to deliberate on all our challenges, or he should just accept his inability to manage the party and simply resign. In the current circumstance, nothing short of a NEC or National Caucus meeting of the party can resolve all our increasing organisational challenges as a party,” Lukeman said.
Lukman said Oshiomhole ought to focus on working to win elections for the party. But had lost grip of the party, due to local politics in Edo State. Lukman said it is painful to see Oshiomhole “devalue himself” to local factional leader, from very high pedestal of national leader.
Those pulling the levers of power for Oshiomhole in Edo State, led by Patrick Ikahriale, at the residence of Charles Airhiavbere, in Benin, read a speech to journalists, on behalf of “Edo Peoples Movement”, EPM, on the suspension of Governor Obaseki, his deputy, and the secretary to state government.
Ikahriale said, “Governor Obaseki, his deputy, Phillip Shuaibu; Anslem Ojezua and Osarodion Ogie, SSG, from available information from top leaders of the PDP, have concluded plans to defect from the APC and seek re-election on that platform.
“For us the authentic APC stakeholders in Edo State, we wholeheartedly denounce such. We wish to state that at the appropriate time, the APC National Working Committee will initiate the process of party primaries for the selection of the party’s gubernatorial candidate.
“We will abide by the guidelines for such primaries as the constitution of the party vests the responsibility of conducting primaries on the NWC. We are prepared to give every aspirant equal opportunity to test their popularity. We will resist any attempt to close the political space,” Ikahriake said.
And added: “Consequently, we hereby suspend Governor Godwin Obaseki, Hon Phillip Shuaibu and Barr. Osarodion Ogie from the party for anti-party activities and urge the National Working Committee to set the machinery in motion for further disciplinary action against them.”
At the national level, Lukman said: “What legacy is Comrade Oshiomhole hoping to achieve as a National Chairman by running the party in a way that suggests almost zero commitment to issues of party development?” He said APC National Working Committee, NWC, headed by Oshiomhole has become a shadow of itself after losing members to appointment into government offices and controversial suspensions.
Adams Oshiomhole had claimed he fought and ended godfatherism in Edo State politics, as governor for eight years. But, desperately, wants to be godfather to Godwin Obaseki. His single-handed action, installed Godwin Obaseki as his successor, against all odds.
Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo State, is resisting Oshiomhole’s overbearing influence as a godfather. Obaseki, playing the game of his master, is gradually, deflating Oshiomhole’s influence at home. At national level, Oshiomhole, National Chairman of APC, is suffering from vote of confidence.