Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State Governor, on Wednesday, March 11, has denied being responsible for the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole’s travails.
Obaseki’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, in statement in Benin on Wednesday, said: “We want to reiterate that the state governor is not behind the travails of the suspended APC national chairman.
“Oshiomhole is only reaping the consequences of his actions and inactions while he served as the national chairman, some of which include the efforts to destabilise the party in the state.
“Others are his tactless handling of the crisis in the state chapters across the country, including the conflicts in Zamfara, Adamawa, Taraba, Rivers, Bayelsa and other states where his draconic stance cost the party dearly.”
He said APC factional state Publicity Secretary, Chris Azebamwan, was not qualified to speak for the party as he has been suspended, even as he urged him and his co-travellers in EPM to take advantage of the window provided by the governor to seek re-admission into the APC.
APC leaders and members in Edo State, yesterday, expressed their implicit confidence in Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the party.
They also said the State Executive Committee of the party stand by the 17 executive members of Ward 10, Etsako West Local Government Area, who have publicly denounced the suspension of Oshiomhole at his ward level.
According to the leaders, the purported suspension of the national chairman was the machination of Governor Obaseki, using nine erstwhile members of the ward executive who had earlier been suspended by majority of the ward executive members.
Addressing journalists in Benin, on behalf of the leaders, Azebamwan said in the unfolding drama of the conspiracy to remove Oshiomhole as the party national chairman, it is unavoidable that Edo State would be in the eye of the storm because Oshiomhole is from the state and chief benefactor of Obaseki, who is now hell bent on disgracing him from office.
Recalling how the state got to the present state of affairs, the leaders said: “Against all permutations and persuasions, Oshiomhole appealed to the political class in Edo State to accept Obaseki as his successor.
“At each campaign rally, it was Oshiomhole that held the microphone. Obaseki was colourless and bereft of words. He did not have anything to say for himself. But because of the tremendous respect we all had and still have for Oshiomhole and his enormous goodwill with the people of Edo State, we all keyed in.
“Immediately after Obaseki was sworn in as governor, he ran away with the government. He said he was not interested in politics and in his ignorance and naivety, forgot that government is product of politics.”
The leaders said in pursuance of his convictions, the governor embarked on a process of making the state executive committee of the APC an arm of the government, alleging that “meetings were held in Government House, resolutions were drafted there and signatures on the attendance list were appended as if they were signed in support of the resolutions.