Plans by embattled Governor Godwin Obaseki to impose himself as the consensus candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Edo state, have met a brick wall.
The governor had on Tuesday, December 31 called an emergency meeting with all the ward executive members in Oredo constituency comprising of ward 1-12.
Obaseki alongside the factional APC Party chairman, Anslem Ojezua hurriedly called the meeting in order for the governor to have a familiarization contact with the executive of the wards.
The meeting was held at the private residence of the Governor at commercial avenue.
Agitations of neglect from the Governor and lack of familiarization led to the hurriedly convened meeting.
The meeting was facilitated by the political adviser to the Governor, Hon Osaigbovo Iyoha and was also meant to placate members who were excluded in the last appointments carried out by the executive Governor.
At the meeting, Chief Osaro Idah appealed to the ward executives to be patient with Obaseki and urged them to “disregard the antics of Oshiomhole.”
Idah stated that “Obaseki has the best interest of the Benins, unlike Oshiomhole who is only of assistance to Edo North indigents only.”
Osaro Idah accused the APC national chairman of deliberately killing the Benin interest.
He said all the federal appointments are only reserved for Edo North people.
The meeting was practically a one-way communication between the Governor and the party executives.
Speaking at the meeting the factional state chairman, Anslem Ojezua pleaded with the ward executives to give Obaseki a second chance. He promised the governor would right the wrongs if reelected.
Obaseki in his own remarks said he deserved to run as a consensus candidate and should be given an automatic ticket. The Governor claimed that Adams Oshiomhole was allowed to contest unopposed during his second tenure and he should be treated likewise.
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Obaseki said that he was fully in control of the party structure and his reelection is a done deal, alleging that Oshiomhole remains unrecognized by the APC as he remains suspended.
Our sources who craved anonymity spoke to our reporters after the meeting. The executive members said that Obaseki’s dying minute approach is dead at arrival.
“Obaseki’s dying minute approach to saving his face is dead at arrival. For three years the governor neglected us and told us he had a special package for us. That we should keep working. For our long are we going to be working? it is like a case of you work elephant work dem pay you ant money.”
“Now there was a series of appointment’s carried out recently and we applied as executive members but the governor disqualified us saying he has something big for us. Is it the 20k they shared for us that is the something big? for three years it is only 20k we are seeing. Well, we have decided to vote him out.
“As things stand I don’t see Obaseki defeating Ogiemwonyi or Airhiabvere in the APC primaries, the difference is clear”, an executive member was quoted as saying.
Another executive member from ward 10 accused the governor of paying lip service to his carrying of party members along.
He stated that the claims that Adams Oshiomhole only empowered Auchi people are false.
“What Chief Osaro Idah, Anslem and Obaseki said today are falsified facts. They claim that the College of Education Ekiadolor is not functional due to a court case, that is just half the truth. The school was shut down long before a court case was filed against the state.
“Oshiomhole as APC national chairman has empowered more Benin’s than any other person on earth.
“The irony is that it is Obaseki that is fighting the Benin’s that he is appointing. Look at how he fought against the Odubu led leadership of NDDC, the last time I checked Odubu and Vincent Ekhator are both Benin’s.
“APC has better candidates than Obaseki and we would resist any consensus arrangement.
“Obaseki said Oshiomhole nominated the commissioners in his living room which again is false. Oshiomhole told the whole world he had only one nominee. Obaseki should leave Oshiomhole alone and face his likely opponents. This is why some of us prefer the likes of Ogiemwonyi, Airhiabvere, party members that are proactive. For three years Obaseki never sent for us, but now that he is having a rough time finding a safe landing in PDP he is here talking about consensus.”
“The project is dead at arrival. Take my words for that, Obaseki is on his way out”.
Obaseki faces stiff opposition from the likes of Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, Maj. Gen. Charles Airhiabvere (Rtd.) Pst. Osagie Ize-Iyamu and others.
As the new year 2020 begins, all attention would focus on the forthcoming gubernatorial elections set to take place in Edo State.
Already the festive season saw more bickering than jaw-jaw from the political gladiators in the state.
From all available information at our disposal, we can confidently say the main battleground now is the control of the political structure of APC in Edo state.