Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has claimed it has credible evidence that Governor Godwin Obaseki had worked against the party by funding candidates of the opposition in the House of Assembly elections.
The party also alleges that the governor, who resigned his party membership yesterday following his disqualification from contesting in the state’s upcoming primaries, had funded opposition parties in neighbouring states in their recent governorship elections to the electoral misfortune of the APC.
Addressing journalists in Benin City, Acting Chairman of the party, Col David Imuse (retd), suggested that the seamless manner of Obaseki’s assimilation and welcome by the leadership of the opposition is in appreciation of his alleged investment in their political fortunes.
‘Obaseki’s sins are legion. He has kept 14 members-elect of the House of Assembly out, he funded the long-drawn-out but aborted attempt to unseat the National Chairman. This drama is still playing out in court as we speak, and was reflected in the Appeal Court ruling that was delivered yesterday,’ Imuse said.
‘He has also sponsored several litigations against the party, its organs and officials. Obaseki did everything within his power to weaken the APC and its structures preparatory to his defection. This was all in a bid to put the APC in a disadvantaged position in the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo State. So it is gratifying to have him exit from our ranks.’
The Edo APC acting chairman asserted that in three and half years of his administration, the governor cannot point to one meaningful project that he initiated or commissioned, adding that this supposed failure was what informed the party’s position to settle for a more credible candidate that will turn the fortunes of the APC in the state around and build an inclusive government that will meet the yearnings and aspirations of the electorate and members of the party.
‘Obaseki’s exit will give us room and the much-needed respite to enable us to strengthen our internal cohesiveness, realign our focus and enable us to prepare for the elections without the distraction from within our ranks which Obaseki has come to represent,’ Imuse stated.
He wished the governor well, however adding the Edo APC is convinced that his political fortunes will speedily decline: ‘His democratic credentials, like his academic qualifications, are suspect and questionable, hence his inability to get along with the political class. He was more of fascist and allotted political positions like a feudal lord. Everything Obaseki did was against all known democratic norms and practices,’ the party official alleged.
The party faulted Tuesday’s Court of Appeal ruling affirming the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole from office as National Chairman of the APC, saying the court misdirected itself from the foundation of initial action at the Federal High Court, Abuja, which bordered on a resolution by 7 of a 25-member ward executive committee.
‘By the tone and wording of the judgment, one was left wondering if the Appeal Court has become a court of first instance. The foundation of the initial action at the Federal High Court (FCT), Abuja, was a resolution by 7 of the 25-member ward executive committee. Politics is a game of numbers and 7 cannot purport to act on behalf of 25 and claim validity for their action,’ Imuse said.
He urged members of the party to remain calm, resolute and keep faith with the leadership of Oshiomhole, assuring that the state governorship primaries would go ahead as planned.
Efforts to get Governor Obaseki’s response to the allegations made against him were unsuccessful, as his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, would neither pick his calls nor respond to SMS sent to his mobile phone.