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Edo: Oyegun, Oshiomhole at each other’s throats

Oshiomhole is Obaseki’s biggest distraction —Oyegun
I don’t need short-cut to sustain my position —Oshiomhole
Insists Edo gov must obey constitutional provision on proclamations

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Omeiza Ajayi

 

ABUJA— Immediate past National Chairman of  All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has added in on the crisis rocking the party in his home state, Edo, accusing his successor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, of anti-party activities.

Oyegun spoke as incumbent National Chairman of the  party, Oshiomhole, weekend, in view of the crisis in the state House of Assembly, said he does not need short-cuts to sustain his position in the system, when asked if he was not bringing pressure to bear on Governor Godwin Obaseki.

However, Oyegun said the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, must be allowed to operate freely as a chief executive officer of the state.

Speaking through his Special Assistant on Public/Political Affairs, Chief Ray Murphy, Chief Oyegun said he could not fathom why the most virulent  opposition to Obaseki was from his own party and not the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

He said: “This party must be stronger because we cannot go into the 2023 general elections with these discordant tunes, especially as President Buhari will not be contesting.

‘’We need to get our acts together. Oyegun has no personal grievances with Oshiomhole but Nigerians must know that he cannot go to equity with unclean hands.

“Today, there are all kinds of rancour coming from Edo State. They all boil down to attempts by a godfather and godfatherism that is heating up the polity in the state.

“Obaseki is the executive governor of Edo State and he should be allowed to exercise the powers vested in him by the law. To what purpose is this idea of APC chairman putting the state under tension?

Oshiomhole showing bias, needs to hear from all parties before taking sides – Obaseki’s aide(Opens in a new browser tab)

“As a governor on APC platform, he should be allowed to run out his tenure before they decide whether to bring him back or not. There are so much antics going on and you don’t need to be a prophet or babalawo to trace where they are coming from. They are coming from APC.

“I want to think that they are all targeted at weakening the governor of Edo State. Ordinarily, the man in Edo should be given every support so that he can succeed to fend off the opposition PDP already around the corner.”

 

Oshiomhole is Obaseki’s biggest distraction

“Ask anybody from Edo State, what is Obaseki’s biggest distraction and they will tell you that his distraction is not whether he has governed well or not, but from his immediate predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole.

“It is very unfortunate, especially considering the fact that he is the national chairman of the same party with the governor. I have not heard that PDP or Edo leaders want to remove Obaseki. What has been trending is how his predecessor, who happens to be the party chairman, does not want him back in office.

Anti-party

“If his action against Obaseki are not anti-party, someone should then explain to me what is anti-party. The problem of APC is from a single man, the national chairman, who runs the party like an executive chairman.

‘’The idea of working single-handedly and inducing the party members to endorse is the problem of the party.

“Look at what is happening in the party today. When was the last time the NEC meeting was held? But when these crises came to the fore, he has called several emergency NWC meetings.”

I don’t need short-cut to sustain my position Oshiomhole

Meanwhile, Oshiomhole, weekend, said he would not need a short-cut to sustain his position in the system.

Oshiomhole stated this while reacting to the allegation that he was behind the crisis in Edo State House of Assembly,  having allegedly constituted himself as a godfather who wants to dictate what happens in the state.

The APC national chairman, who was reminded that he fought godfatherism in the state but was now being accused of playing the same role he once fought to a stand still, told State House correspondents that sought his opinion on the brouhaha arising from the inauguration of Edo State Assembly that the issue of playing the role of a godfather was only an accusation.

He asked:  “What is the evidence? It’s all about accusation. The media have a duty. They have to give you the particulars of that godfatherism. What’s the evidence? I am a democrat.

“I accept the credit, not only that I fought godfatherism, I launched the one-man one-vote campaign to fight against election rigging anywhere in Nigeria and by the special grace of God under PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) with (Chief Tony) Anenih alive, and at his best, I won all the 18 local government areas and 95 percent of the total votes cast in my second term election.

“So, Edo people know me and I know them. I don’t need short-cut to sustain my position in the system. But you know that there is nobody in Nigeria who is not open to accusations. The important thing is that he who accuses should give you proof.”

Edo gov must obey constitutional provision on proclamations

On his position on the ongoing argument and brewing crisis over the inauguration of Edo State House of Assembly, Oshiomhole said: “It’s about rule of law. As journalists, there are questions you don’t need to ask me because you know the answer. You know the law provides for how the House should be proclaimed transparently.

“The day it’s announced, members-elect are informed of date and time for inauguration. These are clearly spelt out in the Nigerian constitution. And just last week (about two weeks ago), you were all witnesses to how President Muhammadu Buhari issued proclamation letter to the Clerk many days before, stating date and time of the inauguration of the two chambers of the National Assembly.

“Even while we are still negotiating to ensure that our party was not divided on the floor of the House, without prejudice to the outcome of those negotiations, the President issued a proclamation because he is obliged by the constitution to do so whether he likes it or not and he did.

“He did it transparently. He has led us by example. For me, it’s very embarrassing if any state governor, particularly of APC extraction, will do anything that is less than what the constitution says and the example that our president has set.”

He said in the case of the Edo State House of Assembly inauguration, the proclamation was not publicized and that members were not informed, adding that the inauguration took place at 9:30 pm.

He said the time was what a Supreme Court judgement described as “nocturnal hours.”

Speaking further, Oshiomhole said:  “Business of parliament is done transparently; they are not a secret cult. Now you have 24 member House, 19 members protested, you have six and you carry people in their shorts. Even in the House, they have rules, the dress code. So, it happened in Edo, it has happened in Bauchi.

“Like Edo, Bauchi used the minority of 10 to  proclaim the House and locked out 20 APC members and got those 10 people to elect the speaker, exactly the way Edo did with six and then co-opted other three people to become nine and even at that it is nonsense.

If it is wrong, it is wrong

“For us, these are completely illegal. And that is why we said so. If it is wrong, it is wrong whether it is done by APC or by PDP; whether it’s the chairman’s state or not. The law is blind to those sentiments. I believe by the end of the day, the solution is, return to the rule of law.

“Let’s properly follow the law; let the parliament do what they have to do but people have the right to lobby for people they want and whom they prefer. This is also legitimate. Like you saw in the National Assembly, after all the lobbies, people have the right to vote and you saw them in the National Assembly conducting secret ballot.”

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