APC’s treatment of Ambode, Obaseki horrendous ― Clark

• Urges Edo gov to join PDP now

South-South Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, has described the treatment of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, by the All Progressive Congress (APC) as “horrendous,” saying that the ruling party is yet to learn its lesson from its past mistakes.

The elder statesmen said, in a reaction in Abuja, on Monday, to the disqualification of the Edo governor from participating in the forthcoming APC gubernatorial primaries, that the ruling party is toeing the same path that cost it victories in Zamfara, Bauchi and Rivers states in the last governorship elections.

He said if the APC fails to redress the wrong done to Obaseki, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State must capitalise and hand the incumbent governor its gubernatorial ticket.

Chief Clark also called on Obaseki to promptly declare for the PDP as doing so will be justified.

He said: “The goings-on in Edo State are a repetition of what happened at the Lagos State Governorship primaries of the APC, in 2018, where the then-governor was removed in a primary, which did not exist.

“It was a shame that the team that was sent to Lagos to conduct the APC Primaries, at the time, under the leadership of a past Governor of Cross River State, who had categorically stated at a Press Briefing, that there were no primaries, and that they were going to hold the primaries the following day. But, recanted his words, and later said there were primaries held. What type of party leadership is that?

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“There is no doubt that there is no one that is indispensable, but to treat fellow party men, and countrymen, in the manner that was done to the former Lagos Governor, and now to Governor Obaseki, is most horrendous.

“While, I am not a member of the APC, or of PDP, or any other political party, for that matter; it is regrettable that the All Progressives Congress in Edo State, is being destroyed as it was in some other States, in 2019; when due to the same manipulation, and rascally interferences, leading to wrong decisions, the APC lost Zamfara State, Bauchi State, and Adamawa State, to the PDP, and did not have Candidates in Rivers State, for the elections.

“Situations that were sufficient to be a serious lesson for the APC, on its leadership mismanagement, but it seems not so. It is, therefore, most disgusting that in 2020 APC is towing that same path, in Edo State.

“If the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, including Mr.President, fails to intervene in this unfortunate crisis in the Edo State, I would appeal to the opposition, People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to take advantage of the situation.

“I repeat, PDP should take advantage of this unfortunate crisis in APC, to adopt the incumbent Governor of APC, Governor Godwin Obaseki, as their candidate. It is a golden opportunity for the PDP to take over Edo State because Governor Obaseki has so far, done well. I want to believe that he will continue the good work if given a second chance.

“I also appeal to the people of Edo all over the world to support him to achieve his second term bid, and to PDP aspirants to also sink their interest for now in the overall interest of their Edo State.

“Likewise, I would strongly advice, Governor Godwin Obaseki, to in the overall interest of Edo people, declare for the People’s Democratic Party, and contest for his second term, for him to complete his job to the people.

“He won’t be culpable of any blame; he has tried to be a loyal and dedicated member of his party. But unfortunately, his party’s hierarchy has betrayed and disappointed him, and has apparently, handed Adams Oshiomwhole, the sole authority to decide who should be APC’s flagbearer in the next governorship election of Edo State. This is not right.

“Given the appraisal by a broad-spectrum that he has given a good account of his mandate as governor, I urge Governor Obaseki and his supporters, to be courageous, and test his popularity, with the people of Edo State, and the electorate resident in the State.

“Let the people of the State, and providence, decide his fate, not “one man”, or a group of politicians.”

The former two-time former Commissioner in the old Mid-Western region posited: “It is unfortunate that the National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has been allowed by his party chieftains, including President Muhammadu Buhari, and my respected Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to perpetuate the happenings in Edo State.”

He maintained even though he had since retired from politics, he would always speak in the interest of Nigeria, and the Niger Delta region, in particular.

Recalling the role he played in Oshiomhole’s second bid term as Edo state governor, he stated: “As a two-time former Commissioner in the old Mid-Western region, I know Edo people, and therefore, would further appeal to them, whether at home, or in Lagos, or in the Diaspora, to team up with Obaseki, to thwart this evolving detestable tendency in our polity; and the ambition of one man, who has now become the sole authority or administrator of the APC.

“Comrade Oshiomhole may wish to reminiscence on his own words, which he had often, immodestly, expressed, ‘A situation where one man decides has been abolished. All I want is the power to move to the people. The people should decide who becomes their leader…’

“I also want to, a further appeal to the National Chairman of APC, and his party that nobody should be allowed, for the sake political predilections, to distort the peace and stability of Edo State, and by extension the Niger Delta region.

“We do not want what happened in parts of Rivers State, in the course of 2019 general elections, and in Bayelsa State, during campaigns leading to the November 2019 governorship election in the State, where innocent citizens were killed, to occur in Edo State.

“I repeat my statement is entirely based on the peace and stability of Edo State, and by extension, the South-South. PDP should take advantage of the unfortunate crisis.

“I consider the situation in Edo State not only a challenge to Governor Obaseki and the Edo people, but also a challenge to all lovers of democracy, freedom, and justice, in Nigeria and beyond. No individual is bigger than Nigeria!”

“It is immoral and indecent, for Adams Oshiomhole to be manipulating the political space in Edo State, within the past three years, with the intention to maintain control of the political machinery in the State, and sustain the silly idiosyncrasy of godfather and godson, now culminating in Obaseki being disqualified, even as a sitting Governor, from getting the ticket of the APC,” Clark declared.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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