In a dramatic turn of events, the Edo
State Governor, Godwin Obaseki yesterday declared his readiness to reconcile with his estranged political godfather and national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, ahead of the party’s primary election this month.
The governor made this disclosure to State House Corre- spondents when he presented his expression of interest and nomination forms for the governorship
ticket of APC to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential villa.
Obaseki’s visit to President Buhari is part of his moves to ensure he retains the party’s ticket ahead of the APC governorship primary election holding on June 22.
The long face off between Oba- seki and Oshiomhole culminated in the emergence of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as consensus aspirant of the camp loyal to the national chairman.
Obaseki’s political woes were compounded by the APC National
Working Committee (NWC) adopting direct primaries as against the
delegate primaries which is favorable to the incumbent governor.
It would also be recalled that Obaseki in company of some APC governors also met with APC national leader, Bola Tinubu to intervene in the crisis.
However, while speaking with State House correspondents yesterday, Obaseki described the friction
between him and Oshiomhole as an
unfortunate situation, adding that he
is ready to reach a truce with his estranged political benefactor.
The governor expressed dismay over
the political tussle in Edo State noting
that is not caused within the state but
He said, “It is unfortunate that he is
taking the position he has taken; I believe that he was not properly guided.
I am his Governor and it is my responsibility to seek peace for my State and with all my citizens. I will continue to
strive for peace, I will continue to pur- sue peace, seek the interest of our people and I am open, that we should talk
about how to move things forward.
“The relationship is still frosty but I
am doing all I can to try and make it
warm just for the sake of Edo people. I am committed to whatever it will
take to have peace and not to lose lives in Edo, within the law, whatever I
can do that is constitutional, I will do,”
Obaseki further said he has the full
support of his counterparts, governors
elected on the platform of the APC, in
line with theprinciples of the party, which always supports continuity.
On the purpose of his visit to the president, the governor said, “Well I came to see the President to formally inform him of my desire and intention to seek re-election as Governor of Edo State
on the platform of the All Progressives
Congress APC in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
“Even though President Buhari is a
father of our nation, it will be wrong
to just assume or take things for granted so I have to formally inform him of
my intention to re-contest and solicit
his support in my gubernatorial bid.”
Obaseki further said that he has
done well for his people and therefore,
deserves another term of office.
“Well I believe having been governor
of the state for three years and the jury
is out, you can check with Edo people, whether as governor I have served
“The consensus is that we have
done well as a government and that
people will like us to continue with
the laudable programmes and polices
which we have undertaken under the
last three years.
“If you recall when I got into power as a governor, one things Edo was
known for was human trafficking. We
had over 30,000 of our citizens, who
were in Libya, waiting to crossover to
Europe. Today, in less than three years,
we have stopped it.
“We are celebrated globally, across
the continent in terms of the reforms
we have undertaken in basic education
in this country.
Those children, I can’t abandon them; we can’t stop what we have achieved till date. So, based on that, we believe that because of the con- nection we have created with our people, we have no doubt in our minds that
we will win any election, direct or indirect elections in Edo State,” he said.
He also said over 300,000 Edo indigenes have been screen for COVID-19
out of the 500,000-target set by the state government.
Obaseki also assured that the killers
of the 100-level student of the University of Benin, Uwaila Omozuwa, will be
tracked and brought to justice, describing the crime as heinous.
Court Bars Edo Govt, Obaseki From Prosecuting Oshiomhole Meanwhile, Justice Ahmed Moham- med of a federal high court sitting in Abuja, has stopped Governor Godwin Obaseki, from arresting and prosecuting the APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, over an indictment in a white paper submitted to the state government.
A panel of inquiry set up by the state government and headed by Justice
J. Oyomire, had indicted Oshiomhole
The panel in a white paper recommended that arrest and prosecution of the APC national chairman. Oshiomhole had in an Exparte motion, through his lawyer, Mr. West Idahosa, asked the court to stop his arrest and prosecution on account of the white paper.
But the Edo Government, through
their lawyer, Mr. Alex Ejeiseme, SAN,
rushed to the court with a prelimina- ry objection to stop the exparte order
from being granted.
Oshiomhole Insists On Direct Primary As APC Govs Meet NWCUndeterred by the political moves of the Edo State governor, APC national chairman, Oshiomhole, yesterday reaffirmed the party’s resolve to adopt the direct mode of primary election in choosing the party’s candidate for the governorship election.
Oshiomhole while playing down speculations of rising tensions between Obaseki and the party’s leadership over the mode of primaries, insisted that the governor has not formally written the party over any grievances he may have.
The party chairman stated this at
a meeting between the Progressives
Governors Forum(PGF) and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party at the APC national Secretariat on Abuja.
Oshiomhole said: ”We have since published our time table because
under the law we are required to give
INEC at least 21 days notice to
monitor our primaries and to state the mode of our primaries and of
course NWC had approved direct pri- maries for Edo.
That of Ondo has not been discussed because that will come much later, because Edo will come about three weeks before Ondo.