He’s jealous of my soaring popularity, says Oshiomhole
Warns Edo Police CP against being used
Obaseki: Observe protocol when visiting, stop using thugs
By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA — The quarrel between National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and his successor, Governor Godwin Obaseki, deepened yesterday as the former accused the latter of being jealous of his popularity.
Oshiomhole also warned the Commissioner of Police in Edo State, DanMallam Muhammed, to avoid being used to score political points by those whose stock in trade was to continue to abuse him as chairman of the party.
But Governor Obaseki in a swift reaction, insisted that the APC national chairman was never attacked but noted that as a former governor of the state, he (Oshiomhole) ought to follow protocol whenever he was visiting the state, rather than merely informing thugs of such visit.
Recall that Oshiomhole had alleged weekend that thugs who attacked his residence in Benin were sent by the governor.
However, dismissing the allegation that he was trying to undermine the security architecture of the state, Oshiomhole’s spokesman, Simon Ebegbulem said in a statement, entitled ‘’Is Edo CP lending himself as a tool in the hands of desperate politicians?” that the APC national chairman had no reason to compromise the security of the state.
He said: “The governor should stop being jealous of Oshiomhole’s popularity in Edo State. He is a man that is at home with his people, having performed creditably well as governor of Edo State.
“So each time he is around, both men and women gather round him, particularly APC members and, of course, the youths. It is sad that the governor in his usual style to blackmail the APC chairman now sees the hardworking youths of Edo State as thugs, forgetting that these same wonderful youths supported him during his election as governor.
“Right from Oshiomhole’s days in the labour movement, he has always been on the side of the people, and cannot, therefore, abandon that to please a governor who believes he has monopoly of knowledge.
“Talking about security, it is actually the governor who is making every effort to plunge the state into crisis and bloodshed. Last Saturday’s siege to the residence of the national chairman by his thugs was a good example.
“Before that incident, state government-sponsored thugs have been harassing and intimidating APC members across the 18 LGAs because the APC leaders refused to adopt his second term aspiration. People are being sacked in their jobs everyday in the state.
“We have it on good authority that the governor intends to create disaffection and crisis in the state APC. That is why he has embarked on this brigandage which Edo people will resist.
“So he should stop blackmailing Oshiomhole and face governance which Edo people voted him to do. We are even more scared now that the governor is making every effort to coerce the national chairman into giving him details of his movement in Edo State.
“Who knows what he is plotting again. But every evil plot against Oshiomhole will fail. He has not hurt any one and no man except God can hurt him.”
‘Edo CP trivialising serious issue’
Accusing the state police commissioner of trivialising a serious issue, the statement read: “I don’t want to believe that Edo State Police Commissioner, Dan Mallam Muhammed, is gratuitously lending himself as a tool in the hands of some desperate and misguided politicians in Edo State whose pastime is to malign the reputation and public image of the national chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
“Apparently propelled by selfish interest, this tribe of politicians has unconscionably ensconced itself in the devious plot of feeding the people of Edo State with a misconstruction of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s persona in order to galvanise negative public sentiments against him.
“Commissioner of Police Dan Mallam Muhammed, has most probably been taken in by this political gambit of trivializing and rationalizing issues by in the manner he has behaved about the attack on the national chairman, an incident that had serious circumstantial implications for the safety of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.”
Oshiomhole, who denied accusations of trying to plunge the state into crisis, accused the governor of trying to use the police commissioner against him.
“As much as I try to refrain and restrain myself from joining issues with the Police, I feel obligated to call the commissioner out on his widely-reported statement that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was not attacked.
“While stating a notorious fact, he had somewhat downplayed the very strong connection between Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his home that was attacked. Who were the thugs that laid siege to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s house in GRA, with a view to attacking him?
“I want to believe that CP Muhammed is a super cop who should not contradict himself on the facts of a matter that writ-large. Who, for instance, were the people that pursued the thugs who came to attack Oshiomhole, thinking he was at home when they struck?
“Of course, they were the policemen and some brave APC youths who got the information that the thugs had laid siege to the residence of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, with a view to attacking him. Was it not the CP that sent his men to the place to restore law and order?
“If the CP had claimed there was nothing like an attack, how come he decided to beef up security around the national chairman’s residence? I even read where the Police claimed the people who went there were protesters. Are protests held at night?
“The thugs laid siege to the residence of the national chairman of the ruling party at 8 p.m. My thinking is that by now the Police would be telling us the number of arrests they have made. After all, the ‘suspects’, purportedly pampered by the Police, had regrouped at Edo Hotel after they had escaped from the scene. Why were they not arrested by the Police at Edo Hotel?
“I know that Edo State Government is making frantic efforts to use the statement of the Police Commissioner that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was not attacked to cover its evil plot and the shame it has brought to itself, but that effort had already fallen through in the face of a number of
“Some questions are, therefore, pertinent in the circumstance: Was the Police expecting somebody to be killed in the attack on Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s house before it would confirm that political thugs actually invaded or attacked the house?
“Suppose the Comrade Chairman had run into those thugs on his way back home without knowing about their presence, what could have happened? The answers are not blowing in the wind. They are right here. I leave well-meaning and perceptive members of the public with the answers.”
Oshiomhole never attacked, Obaseki insists
Responding to Oshiomhole’s allegation, Governor, Godwin Obaseki insisted that the APC national chairman was never attacked, adding that he (Oshiomhole) ought to know the rules concerning visit of VIPs to the state, especially considering his position as former governor of the state.
The governor, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media, Communication and Public Affairs, Crusoe Osagie, accused the party’s national chairman of trying to stoke fire in the state.
He noted that the Commissioner of Police was in the best position to give report of any attack on the national chairman, stressing that the police chief did so dispassionately.
According to him, the allegations of attack came as a result of the mindset of some persons to cause problems in the state, and alleged that the APC national chairman had threatened to make Edo State ungovernable.
“The Commissioner of Police has declared the state peaceful but Oshiomhole and his cohorts were bent on making it ungovernable. The governor and security agencies would not allow Oshiomhole, as a former governor, to undermine the capacity and integrity of the Police, unless otherwise he is looking for anarchy in the state.
“Oshiomhole has the intention of escalating the security situation in Edo State as he has said in the past that he was going to make the state ungovernable. When he wants to come to the state, he does not inform the governor, the police or the DSS, but thugs. As a former governor, he ought to inform the governor and security agencies each time he is coming into the state.”
The governor maintained that he had no knowledge of alleged attack on the residence of the APC national chairman, stating that the report of the State Commissioner of Police, DanMallam Muhammed, should be supercede any other report.
He called on government functionaries and political office holders to be circumspect in commenting on the allegations of attack against the former governor of the state.