Tony Osauzo, Benin
Ahead of the 2020 governorship election in Edo State, the battle for the soul and control of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, has begun, with a group in the party (Edo Peoples Movement), declaring that it would not support the second-term bid of governor Godwin Obaseki.
But in a swift reaction, a chieftain of the party, the Egure Oshiomoshiofu of Igarra, Chief Adewole Mayaki, told journalists in Benin that the plot by some members of the party against the second term bid of the governor was an exercise in futility and therefore, bound to fail.
In a communique after its meeting in Benin City at the weekend, the EPM warned that the National leadership of the APC might be throwing the state to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) if its warning was ignored.
“We are committed to rescuing the All Progressive Congress in Edo State due to the monumental loss it suffered in the last presidential and National Assembly elections as a result of the actions of Governor Godwin Obaseki towards the party and its members.
“That as the next governorship election in Edo State approaches, we are resolved to work and deliver any candidate who is adequately equipped to strike a balance between delivering on good governance for the people and promoting the party platform that formed the government. Governor Godwin Obaseki certainly does not fit into this condition.
“That we urge the national leadership of our party, the APC, to support this efforts else we stand the risk of losing our hold on the government of Edo State to the other political parties with whom the governor is already empowering clandestinely.
“That we condemn in the strongest terms, the resort to intimidation and harassment of loyal party members by the governor and his aides on account of their dissent with the style of governance and non- fulfilment of promises made to many local government areas.
The group demanded “the immediate opening of the five-star Central Hospital in Benin City built by the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole administration and the resuscitation/opening of the Tayo Akpata University, Ekiadolor, and College Of Agriculture, Iguorhiakhi, for the use and benefit of Edo citizens.
“That we urge the state and national leadership of the All Progressives Congress should note and enforce stringent measures against the governor whose anti-party posture has become a matter of public knowledge.”
The EPM meeting was convened by former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Samson Osagie, and former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Henry Idahagbon.
But the Edo North party leader while reacting to the EPM’s meeting listed Obaseki’s achievements to include massive road construction/rehabilitations, schools renovation, Edo hub, Edo industrial park and massive investment in agriculture.
He described those campaigning against Obaseki’s return bid as ‘hungry people and sycophants who do not mean well for the well-being of the generality of the people of the state.
“Obaseki is performing excellently well. He has done well for the generality of Edo people. We are happy our son was appointed as the Chief of Staff which is a plus to us. He has created employment and empowerment for our people.
“All Akoko-Edo and Edo North will vote massively for Obaseki’s second term. Obaseki is our son and we should give him a chance to complete his second term.
“Obaseki is more interested in giving dividends of democracy to the ordinary people; these are the people that will give him the votes when the time comes. Those crying are only interested in their stomach,” Chief Mayaki said, assuring that the perceived differences between Obaseki and Oshiomhole would be resolved amicably.