Ize-Iyamu Defection: Plans To Disrupt Rally Attract Reactions In Edo
- Government not aware of a rally in the state – Edo Government
- Okah Told Me He Has Informed Obaseki – Patrick Obahiagbon
- Obaseki Should Personally Lead His Troops – Idahagbon
- Don’t Turn Edo State To Afghanistan – PDP warns APC
Youths and residents of Edo State are worried sick over the planned rally by the All Progressives Congress faction loyal to the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
The APC is planning to receive a former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who jumped ship recently.
The mixed blood between the two factions will be better tested on Friday afternoon as the state government and its loyal Chairman, Barr. Anselm Ojezua has claimed oblivious of the planned rally.
Mr Lawrence Okah the faction state secretary in Oshiomhole’s camp had raised alarm on Tuesday that the state government had planned to impo
Okah said “We are aware that the state government has recruited the services of the governor’s Special Adviser on Security, Mr Haruna Yusuf; and a former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Kabiru Adjoto, to recruit armed thugs. They have been mandated to disrupt the scheduled rally by importing armed thugs from Kogi and Delta states.
“We are raising this alarm so that the world will know that Governor Godwin Obaseki intends to unleash mayhem on the APC members in Edo State after he had perfected plans to join the PDP.”
The rally is expecting respected members of the party, including the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege and many APC governors from various states.
Obaseki Should Personally Lead His Troops – Idahagbon
Speaking with NAIJA CENTER on Wednesday, a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Edo State, Barr Henry Idahagbon confirmed the speculation that Obaseki intends to disrupt the rally, adding that the faction was waiting.
Idahagbon is one of the members of the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), a group that has constantly accused the state governor, Godwin Obaseki of neglect and disregard.
“Yes. The authentic APC in Edo state under the chairmanship of Col. Imuse Rtd will be receiving pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to the party on Friday the 13 December. The vice president, prof Osinbajo, the dep senate president and some governors will join the national Chairman to receive him. His coming signals the end of PDP in Edo state.
“We heard of plans by the governor and his goons to disrupt the event. We are waiting for them. We pray that he should personally lead his troops.”
Okah Told Me He Has Informed Obaseki – Patrick Obahiagbon
A former lawmaker, Patrick Obahiagbon told NAIJA CENTER that “I can confirm that the Edo APC is set to receive several PDP big wigs including PASTOR IZE IYAMU.
“Cant confirm that some persons are planning to be politically disruptive of the event even though I’ve equally read such hints from the social media”
When asked whether Godwin Obaseki was invited, Obahiagbon said: “the Secretary of the APC in the state, Engr Lawrence Okah, gave me to understand that he has been officially communicated.”
Former Minority Whip of the Federal House of Representatives, Mr Samson Osagie says Obaseki is known to “intimidate those opposed to his second term”, adding that he couldn’t doubt the speculations that he is planning to import thugs to disrupt the rally.
Speaking with NAIJA CENTER on Wednesday, Osagie said “The party as represented by the State Secretary has issued a statement on the possible threat by Governor Obaseki and his appointees to disrupt the well-planned declaration by no less a person than Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu and his followers.
“Although I am not in a position to contradict the party secretary position but the antecedents of the Governor in using thugs and sometimes security personnel to harass, intimidate and fight those opposed to his second term ambition is a matter of public knowledge.
“I guess he will leave no stone unturned to attempt same on Friday 13th, December 2019. But let’s note that this is the first time we are witnessing the resistance of a Governor against people joining his own party. Indeed it is on record that our Governor elected on the platform of APC in September 2016 has not received or encouraged anybody in the opposition to join his party. I stand to be corrected.
“Ordinarily, a performing Governor, such as he claims to be, ought to by his work or ability to persuade others to seek to depopulate the opposition so as to have less opposition. But in this case, the Governor doesn’t want people. It is either you support him because he is Governor or he deals with you or closes down your business. No negotiations, no persuasion and no political sagacity to engage stakeholders. So it is my considered opinion that the security agencies will provide the needed security for the venue of the event so that it will be hitch-free.
When asked if Obaseki was not in the position to receive new members to the party, Osagie said “Yes, he is in a position to but he hasn’t received anyone into the party since he became Governor. However, it is the duty of the party Chairman, in this case, Dr DAVID IMUSE and the party executive to organize the reception of Decampees.
“And also receive them because it is a strict party affair, not the government but where the government and the party are in sync there will be no argument about anything. Unfortunately, that is not the case here so the party has to take steps to rescue itself from the onslaught of the Governor against it.”
Reminded that such a move might cause a bigger problem particularly in a situation where there are two state chairmen, Hon. Osagie responded, “There is nothing like Oshiomhole camp. He is the National Chairman. Ojezua has been removed by a majority of the State Working Committee members and that has been ratified by the National Working Committee in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.
“In any case, he is in court to challenge that and has engaged in abuse of court processes in a desperate bid to circumvent processes and procedures. So his claim to the Chairmanship of the party at this moment is the last kick of a dying horse. Mind you he has been unable to attend major party meetings like the NEC, South-South Zonal Meeting and even the meetings of Chairmen of State Chapters he is no longer recognised. This morning the State Working Committee has issued a disclaimer putting the public on notice not to deal Barr Anselm Ojezua as State Chairman of APC in Edo State.
“Talking about violence that may arise from confrontation from the Governor, I think the event been a legitimate one proposed by the State Working Committee and approved by the National Working Committee, the Governor, if he is a REAL PARTY MAN, as Chief Security Officer of the state ought to ensure that there is no confrontation on this occasion that is capable of leading to violence, even if he doesn’t like those organizing it”
It could be recalled that the news of Pastor Ize-Iyamu planned defection started during his visit to Lagos. When asked if the pastor could be received outside Edo State to avoid violence, the former lawmaker said “No, why will it take place outside Edo State? Are we no longer free citizens of Our State? What happens to our constitutional rights to free movement, Association and lawful Assembly? It’s unthinkable that because an outgoing Occupant of government house has turned his party members against himself, then party members will flee the state. Truth is that he has a duty to enthrone peace and stability during his administration and his support for violence as his reaction and antidote to opposition against him within his party is a poor response strategy of an otherwise a statesman.”
State Government Denies Knowledge of Planned Rally
Meanwhile, the state government in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie claimed oblivious of the scheduled rally.
Similarly, the APC Chairman of the governor’s faction, Mr Ojezua described the rally as “a provocative handiwork of authorised persons”.
He said that Governor Godwin Obaseki and the leaders of the party in the state are not informed of the rally, adding that “It is therefore highly provocative and capable of creating a breach of peace.”
Godwin Obaseki who addressed journalists after a meeting with the heads of security agencies in the state at the statehouse also said he was unaware of the rally.
“I have checked with the state APC secretariat and as far as I am concerned, the party has not officially announced that it will be having a rally,” he told journalists.
Don’t Turn Edo State To Afghanistan – PDP warns APC
The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party condemns the grandstanding of the various factions of the APC in regards to the rally.
The PDP in a statement signed by the state publicity secretary, Mr Chris Nehikhare said Edo State is a peaceful state and must not be turned into “Kabul”, the capital of war-torn Afghanistan.
“In the last 24 to 48 hours, Edo people have been inundated with threats and counter threats from the at least three factions that exist in a party that is known for its intolerance and propensity for violence maiming, and arson.
“Their intolerance has led to the non-representation of up to 14 constituencies in the state house of assembly since its proclamation, the attacks and maiming on their own members in Owan, Estako Central and Ovia North-East local government areas in Edo state.
“They are now upping the ante by boasting and accusing each other of importing thugs from Kogi State. We are all aware of the antecedents of Kogi APC thugs.”
The PDP called on the police and other security agencies to be at alert as the build-up tensions by the disgruntled factions in Edo APC can only amount to sorrow, tears and blood.
“We advice that a proper and effective security arrangement is put in place to checkmate these “tatatata political” misfits.”
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