A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC and Nigeria’s former Defence Adviser in the United Kingdom, Maj. Gen. Cecil Esekhaigbe (retd) has described as political jobbers those endorsing the Edo state Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki for the second term of office, accusing them of fueling the crisis of confidence between Mr Obaseki and the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Gen. Esekhaigbe in an interview in Abuja also exonerated Comrade Oshiomhole of allegations of working against the governor, saying being a two-term governor of the state, the APC National Chairman has no interest in Governing the state again.
“Even in a small organization, you cannot rule out differences because crisis itself is an everyday phenomenon but how you manage the crisis is what makes the difference. Edo crisis is unfortunate. Some months ago, I wrote an article, ‘Gov. Obaseki and the Cocktail of Endorsements’.
I made it clear that people who were coming to endorse him were those who were trying to ignite crisis. People want to make capital out of nothing and I did advise the governor that he should stay focused because his developmental strategy was just good and he was studying well and doing well. So, I felt that he should just concentrate on governance and not be distracted by political jobbers. And most of the problems we have in politics is that a lot of people are taking it on a full-time basis. It is a full occupation for them because they have never done anything else in their lives. So, they see politics as a means to an end and they are the ones igniting this crisis because, at the end of the day, they become the prime beneficiaries of this”, he said.
Gen. Esekhaigbe also traced the genesis of the crisis to the decision of the governor to neglect the politicians, especially those on whose backs he practically road to the exalted office.
He said; “The governor, you know he was not a politician when he came in. When he came in, the idea was for him to concentrate on governance and allow the politicians to do the politicking. Without politicians, you will not have a platform. It is the political party that gives you the chance to become the man in charge of governance. So, you cannot relegate that political structure and say you do not have anything to do with politicians because they were the ones who mobilized the electorate to vote for you. There is this disconnect between the politicians and those in government and I think that is how the unfortunate incidence started. Some well-meaning individuals have come in to address this issue but intransigence in some quarters is giving us a cause for concern.
The ball lies in Obaseki’s court
“When you say there is a crisis between the governor and the National Chairman, I ask again: is the national Chairman going to contest as a governor again? He has done eight years. He was the one who fought to liberate Edo state. So, it will be a misconception to think that the national chairman will come and destroy the house that he built. That is why I recommended that the governor himself should make a genuine effort towards reconciliation. The governor, coming from the private sector has a concrete strategy to develop the state but he should not be a victim of these political jobbers who want to make a huge capital out of nothing. I think there is still a window of opportunity to bring the governor and our national chairman together again for the interest of our state.
“Before now, Edo was the only APC state in the South-South and we just won the election in Bayelsa. I think we should concentrate on how to spread out tentacles rather than all these unnecessary crises that are brewing in Edo state”, he added.