Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has declared that his predecessor and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is no longer a member of the ruling party.
Obaseki also told his estranged godfather that he (Oshiomhole) does not have the support of Edo people.
He also accused the political associates of Oshiomhole in the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) of plotting to burn markets and government buildings.
The governor, who spoke on Tuesday at a gathering of APC members drawn from Owan East and West Local Government Areas held in Sabogida-Ora town, Owan West council area of the state, declared that there is no division in the Edo State chapter of APC.
He noted that all those working to destabilise the party would be shown the way out.
On Wednesday, Oshiomhole had rejected Christmas gifts – four cows and ten bags of rice – from Edo State Government.
Obaseki said the APC in Edo State is united, strong and formidable, stressing that members of the EPM are not members of the party.
He pointed out that both the opposition group under the umbrella of EPM and Oshiomhole are no longer members of the party, the latter having been suspended by members of the APC in the state.
The governor said: “Members of the EPM are trying to frustrate the good plans we have for Edo people as their plan is to burn markets and government buildings. Their intention is to discredit our administration, but the people of Edo know better.
“APC is one party; those that say they are in EPM are not APC, including their National Chairman who we have suspended in Edo State. Those mistakenly elected into Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA) who are members of EPM, have been thrown out and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is aware and will soon announce a date for a fresh election, where we would have opportunity to elect credible representatives who will represent us in the House.
“Any person doing anti-party activities, President Muhammadu Buhari has asked us to deal with them. We have been told to go back to organise our party; that’s why we are here.
“As a ruling party in the state, we have done a lot for Edo people, moving the state forward progressively, but EPM are afraid of progress and will do anything to ensure we don’t get another term.”
Obaseki stated that Oshiomhole’s antics in the politics of the state bear no positive impact and has no support of people of the state.
“The support here today is massive and it speaks volume, further showing that the suspended National Chairman’s antics will not work. He no longer has the support of Edo people. The act of trying to create faction of APC in Edo State can’t work; we are still intact, strong and united.
“Our politics in Edo State is transparent and can’t tolerate any act of dubiousness. If you are a progressive, you must be a real progressive,” he said.
The governor said his administration is achieving a lot in agriculture in the state, as his government would soon commence work on Sobe-Sabogida-Ora road.
“Go to Sobe, we have just started harvesting corn. I have told the contractor to start work on the Sobe-Sabogida-Ora road. In that road alone, I want to do 5,000 hectares of cassava farm; I am a governor for development.”
Chairman of Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State, Hon. Frank Ilaboya commended the governor for his developmental strides in the state, assuring that the people of Owan-West LGA will not negotiate his second term ambition.
Also, Chairman of Owan-East Local Government Area, Hon. Andy Osegwue, said the people are behind Governor Obaseki because of his uncommon achievements in Edo State.
Meanwhile, a contempt proceeding has been initiated against some chieftains of the ruling party.
A Benin High Court has held Col. David Imuse; Publicity Secretary of the Edo State Chapter of APC, Mr. Chris Azebamwan and the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, for contempt of court and ordered for substituted service of the charges.
The order was given in the case involving Anselm Ojezua; Deputy Chairman, APC, Edo State, Kenneth Asekhomhe; State Organising Secretary, APC, Edo State, Dr. Aisosa Amadasun as claimants/applicants and Col. David Imuse (Rtd); Lawrence Okah, for himself on behalf of the members of the purported State Working Committee of the APC, Edo State, who purportedly suspended/removed the 1st plaintiff as the chairman of the Edo State chapter of the party and Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu for himself and on behalf of the National Working Committee of the APC as defendants.
The claimants had sought for “an order directing that service of the form 48 and all other subsequent processes in relation to the contempt proceeding (s) be effect on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd parties sought to be committed for committing contempt of court by substituted means… And for such order or further orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance of this case.”
In the ruling, Hon. Justice V. O. A. Oviawe said: “I have carefully considered this application. I take cognizance of the representation by counsel to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd parties that they are willing to accept service of the said form 48 on behalf of the stated parties, here in court and duly ordered.
“I am, however, of the view that by virtue of the nature of the processes sought to be served, which the law provides must be served personally, but which by virtue of the facts deposed to that the parties are evading service, I am left with no other option than to, properly, grant the order as prayed. The acceptance of the service by counsel in the record in my view cannot suffice.
“Accordingly, it is hereby ordered that service of Form 48 and all other subsequent processes in relation to the contempt proceedings be effected on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd parties sought to be committed for committing contempt of court by substituted service.”