Why We Chose To Restore Peace In Edo – APC Factional Group
…. Forget it, You are driven by greed, Says Obaseki’s Group
Since the mid-2018, the Ruling All Progressive Congress, (APC), Edo State Chapter, has been embroiled in cold war arising from a suspected tussle for leadership between Loyalists to Former Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole and his Successor, Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
The quest to have a firm grip and control over the Party Structure within the progressive lines are Perceived by many as a probable reason for the prolonged rifts which have further raised unbelievable tensions across the divides.
With many now fully sceptical on how the party will resolve the conflict and unconvinced, it is now near impossible to merge the warring factions considering the damaged done thus far across the party line.
However Notwithstanding, with the recent press conference organized yesterday (Wednesday) by the Aggrieved members otherwise known with their sobriquet, Edo Peoples Movement, (EPM), calling for a solution that will restore peace amongst the party Loyalists cut across board and Edo People, one would sensed that hope is near for an onward genuine reconciliation.
Although in it presentation yesterday, by the acclaimed and embattled Critical Stakeholders in Edo State All Progressive Congress, spearheaded by the Former Deputy Governor, Dr Pius Odubu, it is sane to agree that, they have become increasingly worried by the development in the state under the present administration.
In their agitation, they expressed varying interests on why they choose to add their voices to the solutions that will restore peace and unity among the stakeholders.
First, they believed that the needless crisis rocking the party emanated from deliberate alienation of some party leaders and members from the government, the party worked hard to install in 2016, through the wishes of Edo People.
Spearheading the statement on behalf of others, Odubu informed that, the orgy of politically motivated violence which swept through the state during the period and targeted members of the party with opposing views from the government, coupled with the attacks on the person of the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and others perceived as threats to the second term ambition of Governor Godwin Obaseki, negated their collective desire for a party that is stable, virile and viable.
They lamented the inauguration of the House of Assembly, saying the inability of elected members of the legislative arm on the platform of APC to perform their responsibility of law-making for which they were elected since June 2019 was unprecedented and does not represent the progressive character of Edo people.
The acclaimed critical stakeholders, however, passed a vote of confidence in the leadership of the party at the state and national levels, led by David Imuse and Adams Oshiomhole, just as they commended the traditional institution, led by the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, who took various steps to promote peace and unity.
“We also express our gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari and other national leaders of the party for their insistence on party supremacy,” they said, adding that the successes recorded with the recent inclusion of Bayelsa and Imo states as APC states must serve as impetus for the party to retain Edo State with, ‘firmer grip’ in this year’s gubernatorial election.
The embattled members reiterated their commitment to ensuring full compliance with the party directives regarding the elections and urged Governor Obaseki to subject himself to party laws and rules to elicit “the respect, order and decency which lies in the inter-relationship between government and the people.”
They announced that after consultation with other stakeholders, they unequivocally and wholeheartedly welcome the urgent intervention of the APC National Reconciliation Committee, led by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, stressing that they were ready with their memoranda for presentation to the committee.
“As stakeholders, we have made both individual and collective efforts at restoring sanity to the APC in the state though it appears that as the state moves towards elections, the apprehension in the land is on the increase.
“In our views, there is need for sanity to prevail in Edo APC as it remained the party that would enable all of us, as stakeholders, to realise our individual and collective aspirations to provide effective, efficient and productive leadership for our dear state,” they said.
Reacting to the claims, the state chapter of APC has dismissed the press conference by members of the proscribed group, the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), saying their agitations are fuelled by greed and avarice.
Further discrediting their submissions, Chairman of the APC, Edo State, Barr. Anselm Ojezua, said two of the anchors of the meeting were bugled with severe malfeasance.
According to Ojezua, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who he described as Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s mercenary of distraction, is currently facing Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charges of N700m fraud at a High Court in Benin City, while Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd) is currently suspended by the party in his local government area.
He described other participants in the press conference, including former Minister of State, Works, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi and former Edo State Deputy Governor, Dr Pius Odubu, as individuals who were on life support politically.
Ojezua said, “These dissidents, out of their greed and in reaction to the refusal of Governor Obaseki to share the state’s patrimony in satisfaction of their avarice, formed the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) and began their agitation against the government, which have all failed.
“Their latest resort is this press conference aimed at extricating themselves from the consequences of the crisis, which they caused. One of the actors, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd), is currently suspended from the party in his local government area for anti-party activities, which resulted from his decision to work against President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC National Assembly candidates in the last general elections.
“As for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, he is simply a mercenary recruited by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to accentuate the political tension in the APC and Edo State, even though he is still on his long walk towards becoming a member of the party; his membership is still in abeyance. Meanwhile, he has started executing his ignoble assignment from Comrade Oshiomhole of creating tension in the party. He is currently facing a N700m-fraud charge brought against him by the EFCC.”
“Their action is taken in realisation of the fact that all attempts they have made in conspiracy with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to destabilise the government in Edo State and create political distraction have failed.”
Ojezua maintained that in general, Edo people and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) both at home and abroad, understand the agitation of these individuals and are in firm support of Governor Godwin Obaseki and his administration.
On some of the issues raised at the conference, Ojezua said it was unfortunate that the dissidents do not understand the concept of party supremacy.
He noted, “The supremacy of the party is embedded in the rules contained in the constitution of the party, and not rested on any party officer, no matter how highly place. Everyone who is a member of the party must bow to the party’s constitution.
“Bowing to the whims and caprices of any individual no matter how highly placed when such a person is acting in violation of the constitution of the party does not amount to upholding party supremacy.
“Party supremacy does not rest in Abuja alone but must be respected at every level of the party, from the ward, local government area, state and national levels. The national officers of the party, no matter how highly placed, must subject themselves to the supremacy of the party at these levels.”
He continued, “In one breath, they speak of the rule of law, yet in another, they pay tribute to one Col. David Imuse (rtd) as chairman of the party in the state when there is a subsisting court order restraining him from parading himself as Chairman of the APC in Edo State. That same court ordered for status quo of Anselm Ojezua’s chairmanship of the party be maintained.”
On the call for a fresh proclamation of the House of Assembly, Ojezua said, “these individuals who claim to be apostles of the rule of law, have repeatedly condemned the proclamation of the Edo State House of Assembly by the Edo State Governor, when a court of competent jurisdiction specifically the Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, not only upheld the proclamation but also restrained the governor from repeating the process.
“Even the current Chief Justice of State, Hon. Justice Edigin, subjected herself to the authority of the 7th Edo State House of Assembly, which these so-called democrats have continuously vilified.
Speaking on the National Reconciliation Committee, set up by the APC’s National Working Committee, he said, “It must be known that we are not averse to reconciliation. However, the constitution of any National Reconciliation Committee must be done with respect to the dictates of Natural Justice. Parties to a dispute should not be allowed to adjudicate on matters where they have shown reasonable interest. This is the defect of the Reconciliation Committee set up by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and a few associates within the National Working Committee.
“While we support the constitution of a Reconciliation Committee to clear the mess caused by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and a few dissidents within Edo APC, it will be best constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the National Leader of the party, as was decided in the last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja.”
Prominently present at the conference include former deputy governor, Dr Pius Odubu; Charles Airhiavbere, Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Chris Ogiemwonyi and host of other Loyalists to Adams Oshiomole’s Faction of the APC.