Immediate past National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and his successor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, have taken a separate stance on the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly.
Reacting to the moves by the House of Representatives to take over the activities of the chamber, Odigie-Oyegun fingered the erstwhile labour leader as the mastermind.
In a statement yesterday by his Public Affairs Adviser, Chief Ray Murphy, the former governor said he was yet to come to terms with Oshiomhole’s forgetting so soon that he (Odigie-Oyegun) never meddled in Edo affairs as the national chairman of the ruling party while he (Oshiomhole) held forte as state chief executive.
Odigie-Oyegun maintained that Governor Godwin Obaseki deserved to be supported as the only state helmsman on the APC platform in the entire South-South geopolitical zone instead of being made to contend with agents of destabilisation within the party.
Odigie-Oyegun also wondered why Oshiomhole, who claimed to have buried godfatherism in Edo politics, would “now turn around to play god.”
But the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Oshiomhole, Simon Ebegbulem, in a statement said: “Chief Odigie-Oyegun is a respected leader of the party and an elder statesman. Comrade Oshiomhole has so much respect for him. If he really wants to address Oshiomhole, he can come out openly to address the man who succeeded him in office and not one Murphy.”
Besides, the ruling party yesterday asked Governor Godwin Obaseki to obey the resolution of the lower chamber of the National Assembly by issuing a fresh proclamation.
Its National Publicity Secretary, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, told a press conference in Abuja that it was “unfortunate that the impunity associated with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has found its way into an APC government in Edo State.”
The party insisted that the position of the House of Representatives on the issue was in line with the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
However, Odigie-Oyegun urged the immediate intervention of the Progressive Governors Forum.
The top politician pleaded with the governors not to remain aloof and watch their colleagues ‘suffer’ in the hands of a single individual whose actions might lead to the political misfortune of the party.
Odigie-Oyegun stated: “The recent outburst by Governor (Godwin) Obaseki and the report by the House of Representatives ad hoc committee indicating the current National Chairman of the APC have confirmed my earlier claim that Oshiomhole is not only the architect but also the one fuelling the crisis in Edo State.”
“In the face of these confirmations, I want to urge Oshiomhole to stop disgracing the ruling party and the good people of Edo State. I wonder how he could easily forget that I never interfered or bothered about how he ran the government as the then governor of Edo State all the while I occupied the position of the party’s national chairman.
“I am yet to understand why it has become difficult for Oshiomhole to realise that Governor Obaseki is the only APC governor in the entire South-South and should be allowed to concentrate on delivering democracy dividends to Edo people.
“It is shocking that a man, who claimed to have buried godfatherism in the Edo State politics, could become enmeshed in playing god to his successor. Oshiomhole is not only guilty of godfatherism but also of anti-party activities considering the ignorable role he has been playing and his shameful involvement in the whole Edo crisis.”
He went on: “Rather than dissipating energy in fomenting more crises, Oshiomhole should rather concentrate in ensuring that the Federal Government policies conform with the party’s manifesto and campaign promises to the good people of this country.
“I appeal to him once more to stop disgracing the governing APC and Edo State. He should give the governor a breathing space to concentrate on the job of serving the people of Edo State.
“I want to also appeal to the Progressives Governors Forum not to stand aside and watch their fellow governor hampered by a party chairman whose actions may lead to political misfortune of the party in the state.”
As reported from guardian