Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
There seems to be no truce in the rift between the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and Governor Godwin Obaseki, as the former accused the latter of being jealous of his popularity in the state
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, Oshiomhole also expressed shock that the governor was making efforts to coerce him into giving details of his movement in the state.
“The governor should stop being jealous of Oshiomhole’s popularity in Edo State. He is a man that is at home with his people haven performed creditably well as governor of Edo State.
“So, each time he is around, both men and women gather round him, particularly APC members and, of course, the youths.
“It is sad that the governor, in his usual style to blackmail the APC chairman, now refer to the hardworking youths of Edo State as thugs, forgetting that these same wonderful youths supported him during his election.
“Right from Oshiomhole’s days in the labour movement, he has always been on the side of the people, and therefore, cannot abandon that to please a governor who believes he has monopoly of knowledge. Talking about security, it is actually the governor who is making every effort to plunge the state into crisis and bloodshed. The last Saturday’s siege at the residence of the national chairman by his thugs was a good example.
“Before that incident, state government-sponsored thugs have been harassing and intimidating APC members across the 18 LGA because the APC leaders refused to adopt his second term aspiration. People are being sacked in their jobs everyday in the state…
“We are even more scared now that the governor is making every effort to coerce the national chairman into giving him details of his movement in Edo State. Who knows what he is plotting again. But every evil plot against Oshiomhole will fail. He has not hurt any one and no man except God can hurt,” the statement read.
Oshiomhole’s media aide and the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, had last weekend issued statements, alleging attack on the national chairman’s residence in Benin City, accusing governor’s officials of sponsoring the attack.
However, the Police Commissioner debunked the allegations in a statement.
“To the best of my knowledge, no one had access to the house of the national chairman. When he came into the state, we beefed up security around him from his house to the Oba’s palace, from there to the airport before he left for Abuja,” the CP said. Reacting officially, in a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday, Governor Obaseki, insisted that claim that thugs attacked the ex-governor’s resident was not only lies from the pit of hell, but mindset of persons bent on causing problem and make the state ungovernable.
The governor, however, warned his predecessor to learn to observe protocols, stressing that he never informed his office, Commissioner of Police or Director of the Department of State Service (DSS) for security, while on visit to the state.
The governor, who spoke through his media aide, noted that if the party chairman would do the needful while visiting the state there would be less acrimony.
He wondered why a man of Oshiomhole’s status would prefer using thugs to security agents.
“Oshiomhole has intention of escalating security situation in Edo State as he has said in the past that he was going to make the state ungovernable. When he wants to come to the state, he does not inform the governor, the police or the DSS, but thugs. As a former governor, he ought to be informing the governor and security agencies each time he is coming into the state
“The Commissioner of Police has declared the state peaceful but Oshiomhole and his cohorts are bent on making it ungovernable…
“Oshiomhole, as a former governor, should not undermine the capacity and integrity of the police unless otherwise he is looking for anarchy in the state.”
Meanwhile, the Obaseki/Shaibu Movement (OSM) has told Oshiomhole to rein in his followers from peddling falsehood with intent to destabilise the state.
The group, in a statement by Damian Lawani, said the Obaseki-led administration has worked to create and sustain a peaceful and orderly state governed by rule of law, noting that any attempt to return the state to a time of chaos will be resisted.
“We urge Oshiomhole to caution his people from peddling falsehood of a non-existent attack on him or his residence. The Commissioner of Police in the state has come out to debunk the alleged attack. So, it is best for them to cease from spreading such an allegation. They should stop heating up the polity.”
He noted that government’s position on the ban on thuggery in the state remains sacrosanct.