Ex-Edo dep gov, Ize-Iyamu, Airhiavbere tackle Obaseki

Top members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State have pledged their support to the national chairman of the ruling party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and President Muhammadu Buhari over their insistence on party supremacy.

The former deputy governor, Pius Odubu; Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Mr Chris Ogiemwonyi and General Charles Airhiavbere referred to themselves as aspirants in the forthcoming primaries of the party.

Odubu, who spoke on behalf of the three other aspirants at a news briefing in Benin, the state capital, on Thursday lamented that the party had been embroiled in a needless crisis arising from the deliberate alienation of party leaders and members from the government the party worked hard to install.

This is even as they commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Working Committee “for the various peace initiatives they have instituted, but which have surprisingly been rejected by the governor of Edo State who has even gone ahead to institute court actions to stop these peace initiatives.”

They threw their weight behind the newly-constituted Senate President Ahmed Lawan’s reconciliation committee set up by the National Working Committee of the party, noting that they had made efforts at restoring sanity to the polity.

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They, however, lamented that it appeared that as the party inched closer to the elections, the apprehension in the land is on the increase.

Odubu said: “We, the APC aspirants for Edo State 2020 governorship election in consultation with other critical stakeholders state unequivocally that we wholeheartedly welcome the urgent intervention of the newly constituted the Lawan reconciliation committee for the party.

“We are prepared with our memoranda for presentation to the committee and we urge every genuine stakeholder of the party to cooperate with the committee.”

The ex-deputy governor added that it is the desire of all party faithful in the state to make it stable, virile and viable so that they can realise their individual and collective aspirations and also provide effective, efficient and productive leadership for the people.

He alleged that the attempt to close the political space and shut the doors against potential contestants for the office of the governor of Edo state by Governor Godwin Obaseki is antithetical to the established norms of democracy.

“We must all be allowed to subject ourselves to the democratic process without let or hindrance.”

The aspirants gave assurance of full compliance with party directives, even as they reminded “our brother, Governor Obaseki that in democracy, everyone, no matter how highly placed, must be subject to party laws and rules.”

The Anselm Ojezua-led faction of the party had, however, in a statement on Tuesday blamed Oshiomhole for the crisis rocking the party in the state.

Ojezua also rejected the reconciliation committee set up by the national leadership of the party, stressing that Oshiomhole had no legal authority to function in office as national chairman of the party as he “has been suspended as a member of the party by his people in Ward 10 of Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State.”

The statement reads: I “It cannot be overemphasized that having been validly suspended as a member of the party by his ward, all actions and steps taken by him as National Chairman is in jeopardy with the likelihood of grave consequences for the party.

“Rather than heed the advice of his people, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has persisted in his arrogance and impunity. He has continued to make pronouncements and take actions which have further aggravated divisions within the Party thereby moving it towards the precipice.”

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