- says he cannot be APC leader
By Ehi Ekhator
The leadership tussle of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State took a dramatic turn on Saturday after a former governorship aspirant, Hon. Blessing Agbomhere accused the former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole of blackmailing the governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to acquire the position of the party leader.
Agbomhere added that Oshiomhole had appointed the deputy governor, Mr. Philip Shaiubu and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) for Obaseki.
The former governor who had fought against godfatherrism is now himself the only godfather in the state, stressed the aggrieved Agbomhere who said he cannot sit and watch Oshiomhole take over the government as he (Oshiomhole)does not have the educational, moral and political credentials.
In an earlier statement by the former governorship aspirant, he said “Oshiomhole is not and cannot be Edo State APC leader. I admonish all the members of Edo APC to disregard the rumor. Who was the leader of Edo APC when Adams Oshiomhole was Governor of Edo State?
“Edo APC is not bereaved of true and patriotic leaders. Where we have Prince Tony Momoh, a former Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and former Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and His Excellency, Chief John Oyegun, no sane man will leave these learned, erudite and accomplished leaders and fathers with their intellectual, mental and moral sagacity to choose Adams as Edo State APC leader.”
Speaking with NAIJA CENTER NEWS, Agbomhere continued that whatever Oshiomhole is doing is against the principles the APC was built on.
He denied having personal grudges against the former governor, who according to him is imposing himself on the state knowing fully well that the current governor cannot defend himself due to the tribunal case.
He said: “The truth of the issue is that i am the leader of Save Edo Group, and if you look at it very well, right from the inception of Oshiomhole coming to Edo State, I was part of his team, I supported him. I can tell you that i believed in Oshiomhole’s agenda and i promoted him.
“But along the line, I have always cautioned him. Presently, what he is doing is very wrong in the system of our party. Even as at today in Edo State, we made it clear that the governor should be the leader of the party because if you have a governor that is separate from the leader of the state, there will be a lot of issues because the leader will be impeding on the power of the governor. For unity of purpose and oneness of leadership, let the governor front the party directly.
“But today, Oshiomhole is blackmailing the governor of Edo State and nobody wants to talk. He was the governor and he had left. Let us assume that he contributed and supported to make Obaseki the new governor. After that he appointed the deputy governor, then appointed the SSG and appointed the Chief Security Officer and nobody said anything, who would do that in government?
“Now as we speak, he has forced the same governor to appoint him as the leader of the party because he wants to be helping him take care of the political issues while he (Obaseki) should concentrates on the economy. After all these, he is now saying he must be the one to screen all the commissioners, there must be commissioners in his government, and because the governor has a case in the court (the tribunal case), he is not ready to take the risk that Osunbor took that made Anenih to fight him.
“Now Oshiomhole is now doing what he preached against. He told everybody there is no godfatherism. What he has simply done is that he is now the godfather of Edo State.
“When Oshiomhole was the governor, he was the leader of the party. Besides him, we had Tom Ikhimi, Chief Odigie Oyegun, and Tony Momoh and Oshiomhole was the main leader because he was the governor. He determined so many things because he was the leader. We fought Anenih because he was dictating to Lucky Igbinedion and that was why Igbinedion’s government failed.
“That was why when Oshiomhole was coming in, the first person he encountered was Tony Anenih and he made him understand he cannot be the leader of Edo State because there is nothing like that in the constitution. Today the same Oshiomhole is asking to be appointed as the leader of APC in Edo State, and that is double standard.
“As the leader of the party, he would determine what happens in the party, determine who gets or don’t get appointment in the party.
“I cannot fold my hands and watch Oshiomhole practicing what he had preached against. Oshiomhole did not buy Edo State for a price that he can begin to determine what happened in Edo. He contested with Edo people resources, by so doing; he cannot be given that right to determine the destiny of all the people in Edo State. Oshiomhole resisted all the godfathers and now he wants to be the only godfather.”
On while Obaseki is not responding in person, Blessing said Obsaeki was the one who announced that Oshiomhole is now the leader of the party. He adding that“The person who is supposed to be fighting at the moment has a case in court. Oshiomhole is blackmailing Obaseki. The governor believes that he needs Oshiomhole’s support and he is using that to blackmail him.
” In Nigeria, it has never happened before that a governor would take a deputy governor, secretary to the state government from the former governor, it doesn’t happen because the Secretary to the State Government is in charge of all the correspondence that comes and goes out of the state. He knows the amount of kobo that comes in and goes out of the state. Don’t you know that there is a reason?
“Do you know that the Deputy Governor and The Secretary to the Government live in the same house in Benin? This means that if they want to impeach Obaseki, they can do it easily. Oshiomhole has placed himself in charge so now he knows everything that’s happening in the state, he gets alert on every transactions that happens in every accounts of government in Edo State which is wrong.”