Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki on Friday claimed his immediate predecessor and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, wanted to use the state House of Assembly to remove him from office.
According to him, Oshiomhole cancelled the primaries conducted by the party ahead of the 2019 general elections and did his own to carry out his alleged plans to remove him from office.
Obaseki said, “He cancelled the primaries that were initially done by the party at the state level for the 2019 general elections and did his own because he could not control us at the executive (level). He manipulated the legislature so he could use the House to remove us.”
The governor said these during an expanded meeting with leaders of the APC from all the wards and local government areas in Edo North at Jattu-Uzaire, Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.
He said he sympathised with his deputy, Philip Shaibu, who he claimed was deceived by Oshiomhole.
Obaseki said, “Oshiomhole thought he was setting a trap when he chose Philip Shaibu as my deputy and Osarodion Ogie as Secretary to the State Government. He was thinking that we would always quarrel, fight and then run to him to settle issues.”
According to him, the party and its members do not support godfatherism in the state.
He added, “If you behave like a godfather, we will fight you.”
He said Oshiomhole remained suspended from the party until he apologised to the party.
Obaseki said, “If you cannot be a disciplined member of the party, you will leave the party, whether you are the national chairman or not.”
He said Oshiomhole lied about nominating only one commissioner for his cabinet.
He said due process was followed in the suspension of Oshiomhole from the party in the state.
Obaseki said the ex-governor could only be allowed to return to the party after apologising to members of the APC.
He insisted Oshiomhole could not take any action on behalf of the APC because he was validly suspended from his ward.
The governor said, “Can you imagine a national chairman that is creating problems in his own house? Because of that, we had to suspend him and he remains suspended. We pray that God should have mercy on him because he has done something bad against God and the people of Edo State; he should find his way back into the party and apologise to all of us. If he comes back remorseful and apologetic, we will consider taking him back.”
The governor dismissed the speculation that he was leaving the APC.
Some of the party leaders, who spoke during the meeting, said their loyalty was for the governor and his deputy and in support of their re-election bid.
The state APC Chairman, Anselm Ojezua, said the party was intact in Edo.
He said it was unfortunate that the national chairman allowed some people to deceive him, despite knowing that the governor was the leader in the state.
But spokesman for a group believed to be loyal to Oshiomhole, Washington Osifo, said he was not aware of any plan to remove Obaseki from office.
“I don’t know what Godwin means by anybody manipulating election,” Osifo, who is one of the 14 members-elect of the state Assembly yet to be inaugurated, said.
“If he says the Assembly election was manipulated, it means his own election was also manipulated because he (the chairman) played a role in Godwin’s election, even in his primary. So, I don’t understand what he means by manipulation.”
He added, “We don’t know what he has done and what he intends to do. Impeachment is not for fun, it is the consequence of an action so if he has done something that he thinks impeachment should be its consequence, we are not aware of it. So we are now asking ourselves what he has done that he thinks impeachment is its consequence. So for us, we are also not interested in what he has done and for him to say that the National Chairman manipulated us into office, he needs to be told that some of us are better qualified than him.
“When I was in the executive as a commissioner, he was just a mere adviser. He calls himself a technocrat but I have never seen a company that he floated and succeeded with. He didn’t have a job, that was why he came to Edo State to be advising Comrade Oshiomhole. He knows the quality of men that we are and that is why he is afraid of working with us.”