Oshiomhole’ll be greatest loser if Edo crisis continues
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.