By Ikhili Ebalu, Benin City
Notable Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Edo State Chapter, have advised some agrieved members of the party to decease from activities that will destabilise the party and stir crisis.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of a meeting of leaders of the Edo State chapter of the APC, held on Thursday in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The meeting which was convened by Hon. Charles Idahosa, with Prince Mactor Shaka Momodu and Alhaji Usman Shagari as co-conveners. Party leaders in attendance were drawn from the 18 local government areas of the state.
According to them, “If they [mischief makers] truly love Comrade Oshiomhole as we do and as they profess, they must learn from the bitter experiences of the Party in other States and help him by ensuring that the home front is peaceful so that he can pay attention to his very exerting responsibility as our National Chairman.”
The leaders said they represent their colleagues and teeming members of the party across the state, who are concerned about the attempt by a handful of members of the party to create tension in the polity and jeopardise the fortunes of the party in the state.
They said the members in question intend to “cause disaffection between our National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and our Governor, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, where none exists; spread false rumours of a rift between the governor and leaders of the party and insinuate that the governor was responsible for the poor outing of the party in the last Presidential and National Assembly elections.”
According to them, “we have been in communication with our National Chairman, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole and to the best of our knowledge he has a healthy and mutually respectful relationship with our Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki in whom he has expressed confidence and satisfaction publicly and privately in the recent past.”
They maintained that there was no fundamental rift between the governor and the leaders of the party in the state, noting, “Rather, the governor has worked closely with the party leadership to manage the affairs of the party including the seamless election of the entire party leadership in the last party congresses and local government council nomination by consensus without a single dispute or controversy.”
“The insinuation that the Governor was responsible for the poor outing of the party in the last Presidential and National Assembly result is, to say the very least, mischievous. This is because it is common knowledge that ethno-religious considerations together with anti-party activities of our own members, that include some of those pointing accusing fingers, were largely responsible,” they added.
They restated that the House of Assembly elections where the party recorded an absolute victory by winning all the seats in the State House of Assembly is a more accurate measure of the Governor’s popularity and acceptability in Edo State.
The leaders urged aggrieved members of the party to look for a better and more productive way of resolving their personal problems rather than put the party at risk.
Idahosa, in a separate statement, said he called the meeting after he and other top members of the party in the state got a barrage of calls asking for their position on the several rumours making the rounds about an alleged rift between Comrade Oshiomhole and the governor and its consequent toll on the party.
He said the reforms and innovations in governance by Governor Obaseki appear to have taken its toll on some of our Party leaders who had benefitted immensely in the past.
“Rather than adjust to the new system of governance, they have chosen to confront the Governor and take him out by all means without considering the implications to the Party. In doing this, they have resorted to all sorts of mischief including trying to cause disaffection between the Governor and our National Chairman, spreading rumours in the Press and Social Media that the Governor is at war with the Party leadership and even engaging in anti-party activities during the Presidential and National Assembly elections just to make the Governor look bad,” he said.
He continued, “All these culminated in a meeting that was held recently and a press release issued giving the impression that it was representative and on behalf of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State.
“Since then I have been inundated by calls from our leaders across the State who have themselves received several calls from our teeming Party faithful and even ordinary citizens of our dear State.
“Arising from the foregoing, I met with my brothers Prince Mackor Shaka Momodu and Alhaji Shagadi, consulted widely with some other leaders across the State and the decision was reached that this meeting be convened and solution found in order to ensure that the Party does not waste the huge goodwill acquired in the last House of Assembly elections.”
In his contribution,Julius Erikpamwen, from Egor, ” appealed to members from Edo Central and North to remember that if a different person is elected that it will affect their chances of becoming governor come 2024. You should cooperate with Obaseki in other to have your way.”
Those in attendance include,Mathew Iduoriyekemwen, Sen. Ehigie Uzamere, Charles Oronsaye, Hon. Ogiewonyi Bright, Chief Eduwu Ekhator and Prince Malik Afegbua, Dr John Ogbeide, Chief Henry Okoro, Reginald Okun, Dr Andrew Ojiemhenkele and others.