Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole on Friday declared that the ruling party is not at risk of losing in Edo come 2020 governorship elections in the state. This is even as he explained why he was absent at Thursday’s meeting when President Muhammadu Buhari met with progressive governors, saying that he was unavoidably absent doesn’t mean there is crisis.
Oshiomhole stated this while briefing State House Correspondents on the purpose of the meeting President Buhari had with the 36 state party Chairmen at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
According to him those in the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party that could be stumbling block in the state have joined their ancestors. Oshiomhole expressed confidence that the crisis in the state will be resolved peacefully.
On the purpose of the visit, Oshiomhole said that the 36 State Chairmen of the party and the FCT were at the State House to congratulate President Buhari on his victory at the Appeal Court.
Speaking on why he was absent at the meeting with the governors, he said: “There was no reason for my absence from the governors’ meeting with the President yesterday. (Thursday). The meeting was for the governors and Mr. President and I was not available to be part of the meeting. There was nothing to it.”
Asked how he could be absent from a meeting that was meant to address the various crises within the party, particularly the one in his home state, he said: “The first thing to appreciate here is the fact that in a human organization, there’s bound to be contestations sometimes. Even when the destination is not in dispute, how best to get there may be a point for argument and those arguments are a reflection of the democratic nature of the party.
“I don’t know any organization that doesn’t have some internal disagreement, what matters is the commitment of everyone, both the leadership and the followership, that when there’s a discontent or disagreement or misunderstanding, or communication gap, as soon as it is noticed, that efforts are made to resolve it.
“You may have read in the papers, even on the electronic media last week when we had the meeting of the National Caucus and subsequently Friday the 22nd, we had a meeting of the National Executive Council. The resolution taken at that meeting is that a national committee will be set up to reconcile those aggrieved for whatever reason. I will tell you we are on top of the situation.
“Let me reassure you, APC is not at risk of losing Edo state in the next election. Edo people have accepted APC as a preferred party since 2008 when I assumed office and if you look at the result of elections, it shows that the people have faith in our party, on the basis of the performance of the government that the party has produced, both when I was there and even when I had left. That I come from a place does not mean that the place cannot have a quarrel. You will be exceptionally lucky as husbands and wives if you do not have misunderstandings with your spouses and sometimes, your children. If anybody suggests that whenever you have arguments in the family house the family may go under, the person may be a poor student of human history and human organization.
“I believe that the issues in Edo and in every other state, will be resolved peacefully, to the benefit, not just of the party, but of the people in those states. We are committed to retaining Edo, particularly now that we have Bayelsa added to Edo, the more reason we cannot do anything which in our opinion, can possibly lead to APC losing Edo State, if anything, if you have been monitoring what is going on, more and more people are coming to join the APC in Edo.
“If they have fears that we may lose, nobody will leave PDP to join APC. So if people are leaving PDP to come and join APC in Edo State, that is the most potent, bold statement, about the level of confidence that even the people in the opposition recognize that if they want to be government, the party to join is the APC.
“Be rest assured that as the National Chairman, even if I wasn’t National Chairman, the investment that I have put in, the much effort that we invested to be able to defeat PDP in 2008, against federal might, when President Obasanjo was the supervisor of that election and I got reelected and you know the PDP forces in Edo, if you have invested that kind of effort like I have invested, like I have done and God bless it, you will do nothing that will undermine it. Nothing anybody will do that will make one forget that a lot was invested and therefore we must keep the house together, whatever it will take. I am sure we will keep Edo together for the good, not only of our party, but more importantly, for the good of the people of Edo State.”