By Ozioruva Aliu
Mr Oteghe Adams is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Edo state and strongly believes that Governor Obaseki has performed creditably to deserve a second term.
Oshiomhole should step aside from the primary election
The APC or the leadership of the APC ought to step in and ask Oshiomhole to recluse himself from the process of the primary election. It is clear he is an interested party and therefore for fairness and for transparency there is need for him to step aside. There is nothing wrong with him supporting any candidate. It is his right to do so but for conflict of interest, he must recluse himself so that fairness of the process can be achieved.
Obaseki’s chances of getting a second term?
The Edo people know who the leader of the party is in the state and that is the governor. When Oshiomhole was governor in this state, there was no doubt that he was the leader of the party in the state. We have a governor that is performing, that is ranked one of the best in this country today. It will be disrespectful and unfair not to grant him the right of first refusal.
And if the leadership of the party fails to do that, then we have failed because how do you reward somebody that has done well? I want the party leadership to tell us, except you are telling me that good governance, performance do not matter. If the leadership is telling the rest of us that performance does not matter then we will know exactly what to do because we think that you reward those who have done well. That is exactly my position.
Mode of primary
Follow the rules. We cannot turn the party constitution on its head. We cannot turn the goal post just to achieve our inordinate ambition. So what are the rules? The rules are clear that since 2018 the National Executive Committee of the party resolved that the mode of primaries in each state should be determined by the state Executive Committee and notifies the NEC. That is the rule which is now subject to approval by NEC. NEC hasn’t met to discuss or deliberate on issues of primaries.
So the rules of 2018 stand but if they want to say that they are so fixated about the mode of primaries, let them go back to NEC, it is a simple thing but personally I don’t really care about direct or indirect primary because as far as Obaseki is on the ballot, Obaseki will win the election. The Edo people know better, we reward good governance, we reward performance, we do not celebrate mediocrity, we are too enlightened, Edo people are among the most enlightened people in this country, the first educated person in Nigeria is from Edo, so we will not celebrate mediocrity. I do not need to go to Law school to understand what the constitution of the APC is talking about.
It is written in black and white but I know some people don’t read. I expect the national chairman to be able to tell the legal department to explain what the constitution says except they want to say that they will throw the constitution into the dustbin. But we will not stand for that because there is a price for performing well and also there are consequences for not doing well.
Obaseki is fighting for the common man: fixing our schools, fixing our roads, creating jobs, building confidence in the youths, giving them hope, becoming the voice of the voiceless, speaking out for the silent majority of the people. Don’t you think he deserves to be rewarded. Put those aspirants on the table and let us examine them, put their antecedents on the table, let us know and scrutinise the aspirants we have. Is it not shameful that a man that is on bail for fraud is contesting on a party that prides itself as anti-corruption party? Is it not shameful?
Fear of Zamfara experience
I am worried but it doesn’t really matter the mode of primaries. Obaseki will win if the election is free and fair. That is why I will challenge Oshiomhole, that in order to prove his popularity, step aside and go and campaign for your candidate, there is nothing wrong with him having a preferred candidate but you cannot be a judge in your own case, so step aside, go and campaign for your candidate and let us go to the field. But Zamfara is in the right view mirror, it is starring at us, so I am worried. Some people don’t seem to mind, Oshiomhole doesn’t care, he should be rational about how things are done.
Way forward out of crisis
One of the ways is to call Oshiomhole to order, the leadership of the party, especially the president must speak out, he cannot be silent on these issues anymore. He must speak out, call both parties and make a decision, because the existence of the arty is threatened in the entire South-South region. Edo people want a situation where the governor will continue to use the money for the common good of all.
He fixed roads; I can drive from here to anywhere right now. My driver took his children from private school that was a burden on him to public school, he is performing well now because he is a little bit more relaxed. My security guard’s son is doing well in public school so the burden is no longer on them, their performances have increased.