By Ozioruva Aliu
Mr. Simon Ebegbulem is the Commissioner for Special Projects in Imo state and was the Chief Press Secretary to the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. He spoke shortly after the APC governorship primary election in Edo state.
Assessment of the Edo APC governorship primary
It was a very successful one and we are happy that today, the APC in Edo state now has a candidate for the September 19 governorship election. Before now we had a lot of threats and there was tension, particularly after the gazette was published by the state government but the party sent a very powerful committee led by distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma, the governor of Imo State who ensured that the primary election was well organised. A lot of people defied the early morning rain because of the enthusiasm which was an indication that APC is still solid in Edo State and we are very optimistic that APC will retain the state.
Some members who are still opposed to the process of the primary election
There is no division in Edo APC, but we had some people who were desperate and were trying to destroy the party due to their personal interests. These people you are talking about are now in PDP, the APC in Edo state is one led by Col David Imuse (rtd) who is recognized by the NWC. Today, you can see that APC is moving forward, we have a solid candidate who will beat Governor Godwin Obaseki of the PDP at the next general election.
Waiver for Ize-Iyamu which Obaseki opposed
Obaseki mobilized opposition against the defection of Ize-Iyamu who was coming into the party, he made his ward chairman to deny that he issued Ize-Iyamu membership card and resisted the waiver granted to him to contest. Yet, the same Obaseki went to PDP and in less than three days he was granted waiver. Today, if you conduct an election hundred times in any of the wards on the platform of any party he has decamped to, you will find out that he cannot win.
Oyegun’s position on the crisis
Chief John Odigie-Oyegun is one of the elders of this country that I respect so much, he has been there before as National Chairman of APC and it is funny to hear some of the things he says today. Most of the things he says today, he couldn’t do them when he was National Chairman of the party. He actually created the mess Oshiomhole was trying to clear. Most of these crises they are talking about in several states were created by the Oyegun-led NWC.
READ ALSO: Obaseki training militia groups — Edo APC
There was no party when Oshiomhole came, Oshiomhole came to manage the crisis that was created. But for Oshiomhole, a lot more people would have left the APC as at the time Saraki and others left.
He held down a lot of them down and negotiated with them. Look at Rivers, the crisis was there before Oshiomhole came in, the crisis in Imo state APC was there before Oshiomhole came, the crisis in Zamfara was already there before Oshiomhole came, it was just that they now became manifest and escalated because the party was already going into elections when Oshiomhole came in and it now looked as if these crises arose when he was the National Chairman. That is not true at all.
Oshiomhole inherited all of them and had been managing them. These crises were created by individuals due to their ambitions in the various states. APC under Oshiomhole was intact apart from some few selfish individuals who were already thinking about 2023 presidential election and started this plot immediately President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in for his second term.
They don’t mean well for the party, they don’t mean well for Mr. President, they are the ones trying to distract the president and Oshiomhole was saying no, we must run the party according to the constitution and ensure that we support our president to deliver what he promised Nigerians.
Hope for Edo election
APC will reclaim Edo state. With the emergence of Ize-Iyamu as our candidate, APC will come together in the state, the party will be united. Just watch, you will find out that most of the local government chairmen are with Ize-Iyamu and few weeks to the election, they will abandon him (Obaseki). Most of them are not ready to go to PDP. At the end of the day, he will be a loner because all these people that he is trying to force into PDP are originally children of Adams Oshiomhole, these are people the Comrade groomed over the years politically. Oshiomhole made the APC very strong in the South–South and in Edo state and his children are still here intact. Even if Oshiomhole is in America and you conduct an election, his candidate will beat Obaseki, so we are not scared at all.
Those close to Obaseki but still claiming to be part of APC causing more crisis
Obviously that is their game plan, they planned it in a way that some of them would go and some would stay and continue to cause trouble in APC but APC is too formidable that they will not succeed. That was why they have instituted several court cases both at the state and national level against our candidate but they will still fail. Most of the cases they took to court showed that they don’t even understand the workings and the constitution of our party but we are optimistic that the court will interpret to these people, the constitution of the APC; how one becomes a member, how primary elections are conducted in the party. These people want to foist their illegal pattern on us but we are ruled by laws and we believe that these laws supersede their personal interests.
They are just there on destructive mission but they will fail. They failed in stopping the primary election and they will also fail in all their evil plots to make sure we don’t have a candidate in Edo state. If not for Comrade Oshiomhole, who is Godwin Obaseki in politics? Oshiomhole brought him to government to rehabilitate him, his company was not doing well, he was broke, so I am shocked when he claimed that he sponsored Oshiomhole’s election in 2007.