…He’s repressive says Iriase
By Ozioruva Aliu
EDO State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has threatened to expel the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) if he (Oshiomhole) continues to “disrupt activities” in the state and in the Edo APC.
Obaseki handed down the threat when he attended a meeting of the 18 APC local government Chairmen in the state where he also directed the party chairmen to seriously deal with any person or group carrying out activities outside what the party hierarchy has agreed to do.
This threat is on the heels of a rally held last weekend in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area where thousands of people from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defected to the APC. But the governor through one of his aides, Osaigbovo Iyoha declared the rally as illegal saying there is a ban on political rallies in the state.
But the immediate past Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Pally Iriase described the governor’s comments as ‘‘repressive and jackboot politics.‘‘
Obaseki told the chairmen that: “All this nonsense they are doing, if anybody in the name of our party tries to do anything contrary to what we have agreed as a party we will deal with that person ruthlessly no matter who he is.
“If you are elected a chairman, your attitude should show if you believe in the party. Party supremacy means the leadership of the party must respect the membership. It is the members that make the party supreme because the members subscribed to a constitution which governs the conduct of the party. One man cannot be the party.
“We are warning the suspended National Chairman. If he continues his activities in Edo State, I will show him that I am the Governor of Edo State. Why he was Governor, he will not tolerate a fraction of the misdemeanour and misbehaviour he is undertaking today. I have declared that if Oshiomhole comes to Edo to say he wants to disrupt the activities of the state and the party we will deal with him the way we know how best to do it. Comrade Oshiomhole stands suspended from the party. In due course, we will expel him if he does not behave. The party does not belong to him, it belongs to all of us.”
But Iriase, described Obaseki’s comments as ‘‘unfortunate’’ and a hard one at that and wondered how receiving defectors would amount to anti-party activities.
His words, “Ever since we left the military, we have not seen this kind of repressive administration that gas political opinion. By now, Obaseki should be pointing out projects in my local government and several others and not this jackboot tactics.
“How does growing the party and swelling its ranks become anti-party activities? We should be getting kudos. Obaseki is trying to scare people away. This jackboot democracy in Edo will not work.”