The crises rocking the APC in Edo State took another dimension as the leadership of the party in Oredo Local Government Area has issued a 48-hours ultimatum to the member-elect, Oredo East Constituency, at the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), Mr. Chris Okaeben, to apologise to Governor Godwin Obaseki, for smearing the reputation of the governor in the public space.
The ultimatum was given at an expanded meeting of the leaders drawn from the 12 wards in Oredo LGA, at the APC council Secretariat in Uwa, off 3rd East Circular Road, in Benin City, Edo State. The meeting was presided over by the Chairman, Oredo LGA APC, Mr. Goodwill Alabi, with notable leaders in attendance, including Chairman, Oredo LGA, Hon. Jenkins Osunde; former member, EDHA, Hon. Osaigbovo Iyoha; former National Vice Chairman, South-South, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Rev. Michael Egharevba; immediate past Edo APC Women leader, Aisosa Amadasun, Edo State APC Youth Leader, Hon. Valentine Asuen, among others.
At the meeting, the leaders unanimously agreed to call on Chris Okaeben to tow the path of honour and apologise to the governor or risk being recalled as their representative at the State House of Assembly. Rev. Egharevba, who spoke on behalf of the leaders, said Okaeben has 48 hours to apologise to the governor otherwise the APC in Oredo will have no other option than to explore the necessary political and legal instruments to commence his recall.
He noted, “We want to make a categorical statement. Chris Okagben, a ranking member-elect for the second term in Oredo LGA on the platform of the APC, has gone rogue, showing no respect to the party and the constituency he represents.” “With all what he said, including the accusations made against the governor and the party members, we want to disassociate ourselves from him and condemn his actions. We didn’t send him on such an errand and do not support his actions. We therefore give him 48 hours to apologise to the governor in two national dailies.”
Egharevba added “It is not our intention as a party to send any individual to represent us in the parliament, who lacks character, candor and respect for leaders and constituted authorities, and having observed with utter disappointment the way and manner in which Okaeben has conducted himself, we have decided that he lacks the necessary qualities to hold forth for us in the Edo State House of Assembly.
“If ever Okaeben possessed any good quality to be our representative in the past, his behavior in the last few months has shown that he has lost every sense of discipline and decorum and we have decided to place stiff sanction to avoid sending someone to the assembly who will soil the hard earned reputation and integrity of this constituency.
“We therefore, by this medium, unequivocally decide to give member-elect, Chris Okaeben 48 hours to render an unreserved apology to our son, the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki and the leadership of Oredo APC; and cause same to be published in two National dailies.”
He said that it was regrettable that Okaeben has taken a dishonourable path, noting “He has gone virile with his comments, insulting everybody and making unfounded allegations against his party. Oredo people strongly condemn his attitude, behaviour, disloyalty to the party. He cannot represent us if he continues like this.
The leader congratulated the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye and other principal officers of the 7th Assembly. Rev. Egharevba noted, “We speak with one voice in congratulating the Speaker of the 7th Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Frank Okiye, on his emergence as Speaker and this also goes to other principal members of the Assembly. We also use this medium to urge other members-elect of the Assembly who are yet to be sworn-in to follow the lawful process and approach the new speaker for their swearing-in.”