Tony Osauzo, Benin
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has vowed to deal with his predecessor and National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, if he continued to disrupt activities in the state and in the Edo chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The governor, who spoke during a meeting with the 18 APC local government chairmen, said he would show Oshiomhole that he (Obaseki) is the governor, stressing that Oshiomhole as governor would not have tolerated a fraction of the misdemeanour and misbehaviour he (Oshiomhole) was undertaking.
He said the regret of the Edo APC was the elevation of Oshiomhole without knowing the kind of a person he is and therefore, directed the party chairmen to deal with any persons or group carrying out activities outside what the party hierarchy has agreed to do.
Obaseki stated emphatically that Oshiomhole did not build the APC as there was no party structure in place when he (Obaseki) became governor.
“This is not a party man. Look at the dump he kept the party as a secretariat. With all the resources we had, he could not support the party until the landlord evicted us. You are governor or chairman based on the platform that elevated you. That is why I looked for one of the most beautiful building on Airport Road and said this is the secretariat of the party.
“If anybody in the name of our party tries to do anything contrary to what we have agreed as a party, we will deal with that person ruthlessly no matter who he is.
“I am the governor of Edo State and I so authorise it. If anyone comes to your ward or local government to do things outside what the party has agreed I hereby authorise you to deal with that person seriously.
“Oshiomhole stands suspended from the party. In due course, we will expel him if he does not behave. The party does not belong to him, it belongs to all of us. We are following the wish of our people. Our next step is to make sure we convince more people to join our party so that all of us can move this state to the next level.,” Obaseki said.
Meanwhile, a former deputy chief whip of the House of Representatives, Pally Iriase, described Obaseki’s comments as “unfortunate and a hard one at that”.
He said the APC ought to be built and run on democratic principles, adding that there was no room in the APC constitution for garrison tactics.
Iriase said receiving defectors does not amount to anti-party activities and accused Obaseki of anti-party activities, warning that they would not allow Obaseki stop the party from growing.
“Ever since we left the military, we have not seen this kind of repressive administration that gag political opinion. By now, Obaseki should be pointing out projects in my local government and several others and not this jackboot tactics.
“Obaseki has not performed. That is what he should know. In the first nine months, Obaseki earned N57 billion, what he would have achieved with that amount will be obvious to the eyes and loud to the ears.
“How does growing the party and swelling its ranks become anti-party activities? We should be getting kudos. Obaseki is trying to scare people away. This jackboot democracy in Edo will not work,” Iriase said.