By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – A former Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state, Godwin Erhahon Saturday opined that Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki was on a suicide mission with his continued fight with his successor and national Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole even as he called on direct intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari to bring a lasting solution to the crisis.
Speaking to journalists in Benin City, the former state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists blamed the governor for the crisis.
He recalled how a similar situation that has become intractable in the state, was easily resolved in Bauchi state.
He said “the situation that happened in Edo State House of Assembly was similar to the one that happened in Bauchi State. Bauchi State is run by a PDP governor; even when the PDP governor wanted to be funny, by the time the president took a position and said look, you the majority should not sell your right, these people went back; the PDP governor now came down and cooperated with the APC majority in the House. But here in Edo State, you have an APC governor who, whenever he had crisis, he will rush to PDP to pay solidarity visit. So, if the PDP governor could obey the president and an APC governor disobeys him; you dare the president, dare the National Working Committee, you dared the Senate. It doesn’t make sense to me at all. President Buhari should be more firm; he should be able to assert his position or allow Oshiomhole to handle it the way he deems fit.
“As a veteran journalist, as soon as they mentioned Godwin Obaseki, I never met him before; but I did my own survey around him. I had every reason than to say certainly not Obaseki. You know I didn’t hide my feelings and that was one of the reasons Comrade had against me”. The one-time chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State council, who was removed as state publicity scribe of the APC for warning against replacing the then national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun with Oshiomhole, said “looking back today, I have no regret. I just laugh because I see nemesis on rampage in the party. It is nemesis that is on rampage. What Obaseki is doing to Oshiomhole now is nemesis fighting back; fighting Oshiomhole. And what is also happening to Obaseki is also nemesis that is affecting Obaseki. So, in the whole system, nemesis has become a double-edged sword that is fighting left, right and centre”. He, however, regretted that “at the end of the day, it is the party that is going to be the victim if not properly managed. And this is one area I would expect President Buhari to be able to take a firm stand”.
Speaking further, Erhahon said “you conducted the interview where I did my best to protect the interest of Chief Oyegun; these same people now pretending to love the governor and have held him hostage were amongst those who were ridiculing me then that I was defending Chief Oyegun. They didn’t see Chief Oyegun as a Benin man then because they were supporting Chief Tom Ikimi. Now that the arrow is pointing at them, it is the same Chief Oyegun that they now ran to. Godwin Obaseki never entered Chief Oyegun’s house throughout his period as national chairman; not for once except when he was campaigning. When he won, he never regarded Chief Oyegun as anything. So, at the end of the day, the same nemesis has used this crisis to also help Chief Oyegun. An institute is named after him. But for this crisis, will Obaseki remember that Chief Oyegun was an administrator? He wouldn’t. Most of our Benin people, they believe in following people because of the money they get”.
Erhahon was however confident that “at the end of the day, Godwin Obaseki will realize that politically, he has been on a suicide mission”. He warned that “this crisis, if he doesn’t heed to any advice, will consume him; it’s very, very obvious. And most of those who are encouraging him now; who are instigating him, would deny him immediately. It’s not because they love Obaseki; it’s because they believe that from such crisis, they can make a lot of money”.