Osh­iom­hole’ll be great­est loser if Edo cri­sis con­tin­ues

The Punch - - INTERVIEW -

A for­mer Di­rec­tor in the La­gos Li­ai­son Of­fice of the Edo State Gov­ern­ment and an as­so­ciate of Gov­er­nor God­win Obaseki, Mr Jef­fer­son Uwo­girhen, tells about the ef­fect of the on­go­ing cri­sis in the state chap­ter of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress, among other is­sues

•Uwo­girhen in­ter­est of the gov­er­nor? So, they made a blun­der of these whole things. The for­mer gov­er­nor is the ar­chi­tect of these whole things all be­cause he wanted to be­come the be­gin­ning and end of the po­lit­i­cal cal­en­dar and clock in Edo State and this nat­u­rally elicited the kind of re­sis­tance you are see­ing to­day. I sin­cerely be­lieve that the is­sue of re­solv­ing this mat­ter still lies with three prin­ci­pal par­ties in this mat­ter. First is the Oba of Benin, who is the fa­ther of every­body, he should call all the par­ties-both the gov­er­nor and the na­tional chair­man to tell them that the state is tensed up and mak­ing it un­govern­able. They should de-es­ca­late this cri­sis by us­ing or em­ploy­ing words that will not carry threats of vi­o­lence or divi­sion. Even if we are go­ing to dis­agree, let us dis­agree in a man­ner that we can agree, not the man­ner of dis­agree­ing that will fur­ther cause ten­sion. as I speak to you, there is a fes­ti­val in my city but the is­sue of Osh­iom­hole and Obaseki has over­shad­owed that fes­ti­val- I am talk­ing about the Igue fes­ti­val. This is the fall­out of al­low­ing these po­lit­i­cal gla­di­a­tors to have free reign. again, the na­tional chair­man should know the limit of his pow­ers. (The late) Chief Tony anenih was the chair­man of (de­funct) So­cial Demo­cratic Party; Chief Tom Ikimi was also the na­tional chair­man of (de­funct) na­tional repub­li­can Con­ven­tion; Chief John Odigie-oye­gun was the na­tional chair­man of the APC and Osh­iom­hole is the na­tional Chair­man of APC. He should re­alise that he was only drafted in to pros­e­cute the sec­ond ten­ure bat­tle of the pres­i­dent and now that the sec­ond ten­ure has been lost and won, he should re­alise that he is now a dis­trac­tion and a di­vi­sive fig­ure within the APC and the ear­lier he re­alises the pur­pose of bring­ing him in as a re­place­ment to Chief Odigie-oye­gun, the bet­ter for him.

Who­ever is spread­ing that ru­mour is the big­gest liar that I have ever known be­cause Gov­er­nor Obaseki is the vicechair­man of the Pro­gres­sive Gover­nors Fo­rum. He does not have the slighted in­stinct of leav­ing the APC for the PDP or any other party. He has been very res­o­lute in build­ing struc­tures within this party across the state. So, any­body that is telling you that Obaseki will de­fect or he will leave the party is just say­ing rub­bish. They are all part of the pro­pa­ganda de­ployed in this con­flict which in time will be of no con­se­quence. I can tell you em­phat­i­cally that Obaseki is go­ing to fly the flag of the APC in the next elec­tion.

The gov­er­nor will get the ticket be­cause he has the ma­jor­ity of the del­e­gates in his hand, for­get all the ru­mours. Se­condly, a lot of per­sons are feed­ing on the cri­sis and that is why it de­gen­er­ated to this level. They waited till this pe­riod to use the sec­ond ten­ure gam­bit to black­mail the gov­er­nor to ne­go­ti­ate with them so that they can get some­thing. The real pur­pose of this fight for some of them is not ac­tu­ally to stop the gov­er­nor from get­ting the sec­ond term ticket. By con­ven­tion, the gov­er­nor has the right of first re­fusal. So the con­flict was de­signed by those who say look if he did not come and ne­go­ti­ate with us, we will not sup­port him for the sec­ond term. un­for­tu­nately, they mis­man­aged it and it es­ca­lated to such a level that the gov­er­nor says I don’t care what­ever hap­pens; I will not come and ne­go­ti­ate with you. nor­mally when it is to­wards the re­newal of the man­date, more po­lit­i­cal of­fice­hold­ers tend to be more pli­ant and ac­com­mo­dat­ing in try­ing to roll out ap­point­ments and dole out money but they didn’t see that kind of ap­proach in the gov­er­nor in terms of what he has to of­fer them. So they say, if this man has not set­tled us for the first sup­port we gave to him, what is the guar­an­tee that he will do any­thing if we give our sup­port to him again. So the fight was not di­rected at stop­ping the gov­er­nor. Take, for in­stance, the re­cent de­fec­tion of Pas­tor Ize-iyamu from the PDP to the APC was all part of psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare against the gov­er­nor. They re­cruited Ize-iyamu to come and put pres­sure on the gov­er­nor to com­pen­sate them.

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