June 18, 2020

Edo 2020: Obaseki’s COVID-19 law against direct primary dead, unenforceable -Ag chair, Eta blows hot


Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.

Says Victor Giadom has no role in NWC except functions assigned him by the Nat Sect

Insists only Rivers APC chapter can re-admit him into party’s fold after resignation for guber polls last year

Alleges ‘big APC masquerades’ playing drums for Giadom, others to dance

Soni Daniel

As the date for the governorship primary in Edo State closes in, the Acting Chairman of the party, Ntufam Hilliard Eta, has warned that the COVID-19 law signed by the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, is dead on arrival and unenforceable in any way.

Eta, who spoke at a media briefing in Abuja on Thursday, said that the governor does not have the right to enact any law that is inconsistent with that of the Federal government regarding Covid-19 protocols on safety.

This was as Eta also posited that the actions of both Governor Godwin Obaseki and Victor Giadom were dictated by some unnamed powerful persons in the party, who had chosen to cause avoidable crisis so as to destroy the party for their selfish interest.

The Acting National Chairman, who did not however mention the names of such powerful individuals in the party, said: “We really suspect that there are some powerful elements within the APC who are bent on destroying the party by hiding somewhere and beating the drums for Gaidom and others to dance.”

“The claim by Gaidom that he is the most senior APC official in the South-South is not only false but borne out of ignorance because it is on record that he resigned from the NWC last year to contest election for the post of the deputy governor of Rivers State.

“The constitution does not allow anyone to resign from his NWC post and then come back to his post without being re-admitted by his state chapter. To, the best of my knowledge as the highest-ranking APC NWC official in the South-South and the person, who runs the affairs of the party in the region, I have no record that Giadom has returned to the party as we speak.

“We transmitted his name to the INEC and he campaigned and sent out posters, which are still in the public domain and can therefore not come back to claim the post he had resigned from over a year ago. You cannot eat your cake and have it.

“As things stand today, Giadom is not a member of the NWC and cannot claim to be the highest-ranking officer of the party in the South-South because his position as the erstwhile Deputy National Secretary is the lowest position in that he does not have any function apart from those assigned to him by the National Secretary.

“If Giadom is still keen on returning to his position in the party, he should go back to the Rivers State chapter that has the power to nominate him and send his name to the party for consideration,” Eta said.

Turning to Obaseki, Eta, who is standing in for former Oyo State Governor, Chief Abiola Ajimobi, lambasted the Edo State Governor for trying to stand the law on its head by attempting to come out with a law that limits public assembly to 20 outside the 50 set by the Federal Government as part of the measures to control Covid-19 pandemic.

The acting national chairman said the June 22 primary would go ahead as planned so as to meet the deadline set by INEC in submitting the name of its governorship candidate.

But he warned that such a law would not see the light of the day because a state law cannot supersede that of the federal government.

But Eta expressed concerns over the litany of legal challenges to the party, promising however that the party would surmount them and come out stronger as the ruling liberal party in the country.