Obiora Ifoh, Abuja
The crisis rocking the Edo state chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Wednesday took another dimension as a faction of the party declared governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Phillip Shaibu suspended.
The APC leaders also passed a vote of confidence on the National Chairman of the party Adams Oshiomhole, describing the purported suspension of the National Chairman by the faction loyal to Governor Obaseki as laughable.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja Wednesday, a factional state chairman Col. David Imuse and the suspended state secretary Lawrence Okah, accused Governor Obaseki of sponsoring thuggery and political violence in the pursuit of his second term ambition.
The statement reads, “We note with grave concern a resolution by an unknown organ of APC in Edo State claiming to have passed a vote of no confidence on the National Chairman Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole and suspending him from the Party. This development would have been laughable if it did not have serious implications for the overall integrity of our Party. Their decision is unconstitutional and it is unheard of, for a lower level Party hierarchy official to want to take disciplinary action against an official or organ on a higher level. We therefore pass a vote of implicit confidence on the National Chairman Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole and the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“We wish to reiterate our position that Edo All Progressives Congress (APC) was plunged in this crisis by the unguarded actions and inflammatory statements by Anselm Ojezua.
“Thuggery and political violence has spiked and escalated in the pursuit of the second term ambition of Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy Mr. Philip Shuaibu.
“This is exemplified by the various incidence of the attack on the Benin residence of the N ational Chairman, the congregation of thugs on motorbike that were led by Hon. Philip Shuaibu (Deputy Governor) to the convocation of Edo University Iyamho, the mayhem that was visited on the polical meeting in Owan East LGA. The same pattern repeated at lkpoba Okha LGA in Hon. Osarobo’s residence. On 18th June, 2019, members of our Party who were elected into the Edo State House of Assembly were violently attacked by armed thugs led by the Chief Security officer of the governor, Mr Nwokolo
“There is clear and unambiguous evidence by the admission of the Governor himself that he actively supported and worked with opposition candidate in areas where his favoured aspirants did not pick the party ticket. This pattern of anti-party activities led to widespread electoral loses in Edo South Senatorial District including the Ward and Local Government of the Governor where we lost.
“In the desperate bid of Mr. Obaseki to suppress all forms perceived opposition and in his determination that no credible opposition emerges in the forthcoming primaries, elected council ofiicials are indiscriminately removed from office with impunity.
“Jarret Tenebe and Daniel Asekhame both of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were recently quoted in news publication in several national dailies that the Governor in collaboration with the former Chairman Anselm Ojezua entered into financial dealings with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the tune of N6 billion with a view to undermining the electoral value of All Progressives Congress (APC) preparatory to his defection.
“The chronicles of events are geared towards weakening and eventual destruction of All Progressives Congress (AFC) and intended to truncate our ability to win the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
“In light of the foregoing, it has become obvious that Mr. Obaseki has become a liability to the All Progressives Congress (APC). We cannot longer fold our arms and watch him drag our collective political fortunes into the abyss in his desperate bid to destroy the Party. The only option is to protect the interest of all stakeholders who have labored assiduously to build up the Party.
“Consequently, we hereby pass a vote of no-conhdence on Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obasek‘s and his leadershlp team comprising Hon. Phillip Shaibu (Dep. Governor) and Osarodion Ogie (Secretary to Government) and they are hereby suspended from the Party.
“Finally, we Wish to use this medium to put the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies on notice that members of the State Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (AFC). Edo State were harassed and hounded out of Benin City following the vote of no confidence passed on Anselm Ojezua. Thugs and hoodlums were mobilized to our houses in the dead of the night, and some others were stationed at strategic locations including the Benin Airport.
“We urge the Inspector General of Police to take necessary steps t< protect our lives and property that are now at risk following th threats that followed our patriotic action to savage the image an future of our Party." For a better society