By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA-A political group, the Emerging Edo Political Leaders Association (EEPLA), Wednesday reflected on the internal wrangling within the All Progressives congress (APC) and declared that the party needs the charisma, leadership and negotiating skills of Edo State immediate past governor, Adams Oshiomhole, as its national chairman to reposition the party in readiness for the 2019 general elections.
The group also appealed to party members to stay focus and loyal to the ideals of the APC, noting that the outcome of the recently concluded congresses is a wake-up call for unity.
National chairman of EEPLA, Donaldson Efosa Okunbo, told newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday that the current state of affairs in the party requires the support of stakeholders for Oshiomhole’s aspiration, describing his energy and discipline as cardinal virtues needed to stabilize the party ahead of the polls.
“We have come together to endorse a man (Oshiomhole) who we believe will take our party to the next level. Having looked at the different factions that characterized our recent congresses, we believe that the party needs someone with strong negotiating skills, experience, energy and passion for the party. The man in question is someone that has been tried and tested as a labour leader and executive governor of Edo State, and he did excellently well. As such, we believe that all that experience cannot go to waste.
”He has all the experience and passion to unify the members across board. He also has energy and focus. For any assignment you give him, he will always do it. And we believe our party will benefit tremendously from such a man,” Okunbo said.
He also stressed the significance of having another Edo man in charge of the party affairs after John Oyegun, noting that the development would be a plus for the state.
“We believe that if an Edo man who has done well, like Odigie-Oyegun is leaving the stage, it will be to (sic) our best interest as Edo people to see another Edo man emerges as APC chairman. And it is not just any Edo man, but someone with the profile of Oshiomhole because we trust he will do an excellent job.”
While calling on aggrieved members of the party to give a peace a chance, the EEPLA chair, said the infighting in the party today would be addressed to the satisfaction of all if Oshiomhole is given the mandate.
He continued: “There is no need to fight. There is no need to fight your brothers and creating factions. We are all one and every body’s interest will eventually be captured by the incoming leader of APC. He will ensure that all interests are protected to the benefit of the party. So we appeal to our people to be patient and we will see victory in 2019.”
On his part, deputy chairman of the association, Ehigiator Isaac said, “We have duly consulted with our members and we have their mandate to formally endorse comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole to be the national chairman of APC. We believe that he will give the youths a sense of belonging in the scheme of things and we see this endorsement as the right thing to be done,” he added.