From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned alleged moves by Governor Godwin Obaseki to force Edo civil servants to attend the PDP Presidential Campaign rally scheduled for next Saturday in Benin City.
The state chairman of the party, Col David Imuse (retd) in a statement signed by the party’s State Assistant Publicity Secretary, Victor Osehobo, expressed dismay at the moves, in the face of the governor’s uncertain status in the embattled PDP, adding that it is worrisome that Obaseki will be seeking to shore up his dwindling political fortunes by seeking to drag Edo civil servants into politics.
He “warned the governor against declaring Friday a work-free day with the excuse that civil servants need to join the illegal, hollow and fraudulent event, as it negates the Public service rules”.
The APC chairman stated that the plot by Governor Obaseki to hide under the Supreme Court judgment in the case of INEC vs Musa cannot hold water because it did not in any way set aside or nullify rules 030422 and 030423 of the Public Service Rules.
“The extant rules ban civil servants, whether on duty or leave of absence from offering himself/herself or nominating anyone else as a candidate for any elective public office, indicate publicly his/her support of or opposition to any party, candidate or policy and engage in canvassing in support of political candidates.
“Accordingly, in the overall best interest of neutrality, harmony, integrity and development of Edo Civil Service, all civil servants are strongly advised to reject and resist every attempt to drag them into partisan politics and endeavour to completely insulate themselves”, the statement added.
But in a swift reaction, Special Adviser to Governor Obaseki on Media Projects, Crusoe Osagie, accused the APC of telling lies unintelligently, adding: “The PDP, according to its presidential campaign timetable, is billed to hold the state rally in Benin City, on Saturday, October 22, 2022.
“At no point did the state government declare a work-free-day for the rally, which is absolutely unnecessary, to say the least, as even little children are aware that Saturday is not a working day in Nigeria.
“The leaders and stakeholders in Edo APC have continued to tell unintelligent lies, making a mess of their assignment as the opposition party in the state because they have shamelessly become accustomed to telling blatant lies.
“What is most unfortunate about their situation is that their sporadic grandstanding in obscure online newspapers is half-hearted because they know that the APC does not have any votes in Edo State.
“But since the electioneering cycle has commenced and for them, it is an opportunity to do brisk business, they are trying to hoodwink their presidential candidate, popularly known as Emilokan, who is awash with Lagos cash, in order to get some money from him.
“Even though their invectives do not really deserve a response because it is clearly false, it is necessary to set the records straight and constantly respond to their obvious lies.
“Edo people, however, are aware of the antics of the APC and have rightly placed them in the dustbin of history with the defeat of the party at the 2020 governorship election, a feat that is sure to be repeated in the 2023 general elections.”