Tony Osauzo, Benin
A former publicity secretary of the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Godwin Erhahon, has said that only the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari as the leader of the APC, would resolve the crisis in the party in the state.
Noting that the crisis was a big challenge on the national leadership of the party, particularly the National Assembly’s failure to resolve the issue of Edo State House of Assembly, Erhahon, decried a situation whereby the state governor, Godwin Obaseki who had been locked in a bitter supremacy feud with his predecessor and National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole and shunned every attempt and intervention to resolve the political impasse.
He blamed the governor for his alleged romance with the main opposition party in the state, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and recalled how a similar situation that had become intractable in the state, was easily resolved in Bauchi when the president stepped in.
Erhahon, former chairman of the Edo State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the State said: “The situation that happened in Edo State House of Assembly was similar to the one that happened in Bauchi State.
“Bauchi State is run by a PDP governor; even when the PDP governor wanted to be funny, by the time the president took a position and said look, you the majority should not sell your right, the people went back; the PDP governor now calmed down and cooperated with the APC majority in the House.
“But here in Edo State, you have an APC governor who, whenever he had a crisis, he will rush to PDP to pay solidarity visit. So, (it is unfortunate) if the PDP governor could obey the president and an APC governor disobeys him, you dared the President, dared the National Working Committee, you dared the Senate. It doesn’t make sense to me at all.”
Erhahon, who spoke in Benin City added that “President Buhari should be firmer; he should be able to assert his position or allow Oshiomhole to handle it the way he deems fit,” he said.
He believes that it is nemesis on the rampage in the party, saying that from the beginning he never supported Obaseki’s choice for the governorship position.
“As a veteran journalist, as soon as they mentioned Godwin Obaseki, I never met him before; but I did my own survey around him. I had every reason than to say certainly not Obaseki. You know I didn’t hide my feelings and that was one of the reasons comrade had against me.
“Looking back today, I have no regret. I just laugh because I see nemesis on the rampage in the party. It is Nemesis that is on the rampage.
“What Obaseki is doing to Oshiomhole now is nemesis fighting back… fighting Oshiomhole. And what is also happening to Obaseki is also nemesis that is affecting Obaseki. So, in the whole system, nemesis has become a double-edged sword that is fighting left, right and centre,” he said.
Erhahon, however, regretted that “at the end of the day, it is the party that is going to be the victim if not properly managed. And this is one area I would expect President Buhari to be able to take a firm stand.”
According to the former APC state publicity secretary, those pretending to love Obaseki today, who have allegedly misled and held him hostage, did not see Chief Oyegun as a Benin man then because they were supporting Chief Tom Ikimi, adding that “now that the arrow is pointing at them, it is the same Chief Oyegun that they now run to.
“Godwin Obaseki never entered Chief Oyegun’s house throughout his period as national chairman, not for once except when he was campaigning.
“When he won, he never regarded Chief Oyegun as anything. So, at the end of the day, the same nemesis has used this crisis to also help Chief Oyegun.
“An institute was named after him. But for this crisis, will Obaseki remember that Chief Oyegun was an administrator? He wouldn’t. Most of our Benin people believe in following people because of the money they get”, Erhahon alleged.
He predicted that “at the end of the day, Godwin Obaseki will realise that politically, he has been on a suicide mission.”