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The Battle: Obaseki, Oshiomhole And Followers Who Believe In The Duo

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The Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and his ex-chief, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Adams Oshiomhole started their association decidedly with a desire for a more promising time to come.

As it is for many things, nothing is constant and the duo steadily took the opposite route as if they are both fighting for the same woman.

Godwin Obaseki
Godwin Obaseki

After Oshiomhole cleared Osadebe road, he brought Godwin Obaseki because of his doubt for his allies like his previous deputy, Dr Pius Odubu. 

Obaseki was a vigorous devotee, he worked intently for a long time ensuring the economic part of Oshiomhole’s administration was flawless, well, that was what he thought. 

After becoming the governor, he stayed an intermediary to Oshiomhole governorship. The principal thing he surrendered was his capacity as the leader of the APC in the state, Blessing Agbomhere alarmed in March 2017.

Whoever controls the party controls the men. The former governorship aspirant, Agbomhere accused Oshiomhole of blackmailing Obaseki.

Agbomhere said “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 the 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 concentrate on the economy. After all these, he is now saying he must be the one to screen all the commissioners”

Obaseki stayed faithful until he effectively won his case at the governorship tribunal. He began pushing back acknowledging Oshiomhole, who had battled godfathers in the state was likewise converting himself as one. 

Oshiomhole
Oshiomhole

Quickly, the two of them need something very similar, control, to be the leader of the party and Oshiomhole, he wouldn’t permit a man he brought to power to have command over him. 

The National Chairman, maybe, meant well has kept on pushing back. In the first place, he blamed the governor for overlooking his men, members of the Edo Peoples Movement (a gathering of alleged oppressed APC individuals who comprised themselves into the group). 

He also blamed the governor for abandoning all his incomplete projects, the conflict got obvious as Obaseki wouldn’t react to the opening of the central hospital where billions of citizens money were spent. 

For a man who studied Oshiomhole for a long time, Obaseki realized he needed to take control once more from his chief. He began disposing of Oshiomhole’s supposed covert operatives. He had been educated secretly and openly that the APC Chairman was going to treat him like Tinubu treated Ambode. 

Obaseki took his fight for leadership to the Edo State House of Assembly where he hijacked the majority overnight pushing out those faithful to Oshiomhole. 

The governor continued with allegations that he was targeted over his refusal to share Edo peoples money. He defended his activity to kick out the supposed hooligans (Kabaka and his partners), well, similar individuals who enthusiastically crusaded for his governorship race. 

As the fight to compromise his job expanded, Obaseki aced the act of manoeuvring as he remained a mosquito causing Oshiomhole malaria.

The previous chess champion is as yet strategizing, many peace accords have been broken, and the battle has turned physical. 

Recall that party leaders such as the Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu, and other eminent party leaders, had all tried at various times to ensure that the issues do not escalate. 

First, was a supposed attack at the home of the National Chairman in Benin, however, nobody saw a video of the assault and the police debunked the news but Oshiomhole’s camp insisted the assault occurred. 

Perhaps, to retaliate, on the 2nd of November, the governor and his deputy were attacked to the glare of his special guests in Iyamoh, Edo State, Oshiomhole home town.

Though many, including the APC Chairman, claimed the deputy governor orchestrated the attacks, others argued that he couldn’t have as he was a victim of the incident. 

Suspensions Loom

On October 18, the state party suspended another Oshiomhole’s supporter, Mr Lawrence Okah.

Reacting to his suspension, Okah told NAIJA CENTER that they suspended him on a baseless allegation that he sponsored Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), a group that is currently battling with Obaseki. 

When asked if he was truly closed to Oshiomhole, Mr Okah said: “Of course, yes.”

The contention heightened to a wild state. On Tuesday, The Edo State Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) passed a vote of no confidence on the state chairman of the APC, Barr Anslem Ojezua. 

11 out of the sixteen SWC cast a vote against him during a meeting of the state Exco. 

Thusly, Col.David Imoise (Rtd) was chosen to manage the affairs of the party pending when allegations of alleged mismanagement of the affairs of the party and anti-party activities levelled against Barr. Ojezua is investigated.

In his response, Ojezua disclosed to NAIJA CENTER on Wednesday that the purported suspension was a demonstration of desperation by Adams Oshiomhole.

He said the National Chairman orchestrated the shenanigan in his bid to get back power in the state. Ojezua said the SWC has no power to suspend him, adding the State Executive Committee is legally empowered to carry out such decision.

A few hours later, 18 chairmen of the local government of the party in the state passed a vote of no confidence on Oshiomhole.

“Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is the one behind the crisis in Edo APC. We have passed a vote of no confidence on him and he stands suspended from the party.” the party said in a statement on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party says it has received a notice of suspension of the State Chairman. 

This was contained in a statement signed on Wednesday by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre-Issa-Onilu

“Meanwhile, the meeting of the NWC, which held today, Wednesday, at the Party’s National Secretariat received a notification of the suspension of the Edo State APC Chairman, Anslem Ojezua by eleven [11] of the sixteen [16] Members of the Edo State Working Committee (SWC). We have reviewed the process they followed and conclude that they have fulfilled the required conditions.

“We, therefore, uphold the suspension of the Edo State APC Chairman, Anslem Ojezua while we await the outcome of the fact-finding and reconciliation committee.” the NWC said.

The National leaders have constituted a high-power fact-finding and reconciliation committee of the party leaders to meet with all disputing parties to ensure that all issues are addressed and resolved.

The problem with the committee set up by the NWC is that Oshiomhole is the National leader of the same NWC, which means, whatever committee set up at this time may have been compromised. 

In a separate twist, some leaders of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State announced the suspension of the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, his deputy governor, Philip Shaibu and the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie for alleged anti-party activities.

A chieftain of the party, Hon Patrick Ikhariale stated this while briefing journalists in Benin City after a meeting of leaders and members of the party drawn from the three senatorial zones of the state where they accused him of hobnobbing with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), divisive tendencies, operating an illegally constituted house of assembly and other allegations.

But in a reaction, Special Adviser, Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie said “What they did is not known to the party, firstly, some members in that meeting which was held in house of an individual is not a party meeting, they should have held the meeting in the party secretariat if it was real, some of them have been suspended from the party so they do not have the right to do what they did.”

Wooing Pastor Ize-Iyamu to challenge Obaseki.

The news has been flying around for days of a possible return of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a former opponent of Obaseki. to the APC.

Mr Iyamu fell out of love with Oshiomhole in 2016 after he felt betrayed on the earlier agreement reached to take over from him. He contested the governorship race on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party. 

In an attempt to unseat Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu is currently in Abuja, possibly, strategizing with the APC National Chairman to unseat a stubborn, prodigal son Obaseki who has refused to return home.

Ize-Iyamu told the Nigerian Tribune: “It is true that I am leaving the PDP for the APC. I am not defecting but merely returning home. I am quitting the PDP because of the too many problems bedevilling the party which I have tried in my way to resolve without success. It is not a rumour, I am going back home to APC.” 

Reacting, the embattled APC Chairman Ojezua told NAIJA CENTER on Wednesday that Ize-Iyamu’s move was an act of desperation. 

He said defection does not happen in Abuja but in the state one intends to defect, adding that the Pastor’s presence in Abuja only indicates a conspiracy. 

He said the state executive was not moved as the Pastor cannot join the party without communicating with the state APC.

The future of the state APC is blink, yet it is not sure if the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party is ready to take over as one of its most popular weapons may switch sides. 

Obaseki, an underrated political neophyte, Oshiomhole, the orator and chess player and the others who believe in the duo will decide their faith in the party primaries and subsequent governorship elections in 2020.

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