Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
A former Minister of Information and Culture, Prince Tony Momoh, has said that the crisis between the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, and his successor, Godwin Obaseki, is painful and disgraceful.
Momoh also said what has been happening in Edo State between Oshiomhole and Obaseki was as a result of vested interests in the affairs of the party and the state.
Momoh, who spoke with Daily Sun in Abuja, disclosed for the first time that he waded into the crisis between the duo and there was respite.
He reiterated his earlier position on the crisis, insisting that the APC will lose Edo State if the crisis in the state chapter of the party was not nipped in the bud.
Momoh had last month said the APC may lose the state to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) if the crisis between Oshiomhole and Obaseki was not resolved immediately.
Momoh’s insistence is coming after last Saturday attack on Obaseki, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu and other dignitaries who were at the residence of Oshiomhole in Iyamho, Etsako West Local Government Area, Edo State.
The Yerima of Auchi Kingdom and former Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) further said the crisis in Edo State was borne out of trying to look at situations between leaders who are stakeholders in the affairs of the state.
Momoh disclosed that he is familiar with the duo of Oshiomhole and Obaseki, adding that as a statesman, an elder statesman, a very senior man in the APC and a very high stakeholder in the party, he looked into the crisis.
“I am mentioning it for the first time. I had a meeting with Oshiomhole, I had a meeting with the Governor right here (Momoh’s Abuja residence) and the issues of communication were resolved right here and they met and resolved the issue between themselves in Oshiomhole’s house and since that time, all the areas of disagreement were resolved,” he said.
“What has been happening is vested interest within Edo State, within the party and the support of either Oshiomhole or the Obaseki. The problem is that they may not accept them. And anybody who is interested in any particular situation may have his own interest in that situation.
“So, I became worried when I discovered that two forces have emerged in APC in Edo State. One is OSM – Obaseki/Shuaibu Solidarity Movement in Edo State, that is supporting the governor and the deputy and then, Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), obviously supporting the national chairman of the party.
“And I don’t like it. And I have not express any opinion on it. But I vaguely referred to a situation of this disagreement last month when I told a newspaper that whatever that is happening in Edo State in APC between the one we call the godfather and godson, if it is not resolved quickly, may lead to us losing Edo State. And I repeat the situation here now. If people are fighting and the situation worsens, it is to the disadvantage of both parties. So, when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.
“What is happening in Edo State is painful and even disgraceful. And I repeat it now that it will do nobody any good in Edo State if the governor and his deputy on the one hand and national leader on the other hand, draw daggers and launched at themselves. It will be to the disadvantage of APC and to the advantage of the opposition PDP,” Momoh said.
Asked if he was prepared to intervene in the crisis for the second time, Momoh said it was personal since he carried out the first reconciliatory effort without disclosing it to anyone.
Momoh however said the way forward was for Oshiomhole and Obaseki to sheathe their swords and work for the victory of APC in the 2020 governorship election in the state.