Obaseki threatens to expel Oshiomhole from APC, deal with factional members
THE raging cold war between Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, took a dramatic turn for the worse on Wednesday as Obaseki threatened to expel Oshiomhole from the ruling party.
Obaseki who spoke in Benin at a meeting of the 18 APC local government chairmen in the state said he would show Oshiomhole that he (Obaseki) is the governor by descending heavily on his predecessor if he (Oshiomhole) continues to disrupt activities in the state and in the party.
He fumed: “Comrade Oshiomhole stands suspended from the party. In due course, we will expel him if he does not behave. The party does not belong to him. It belongs to all of us. We are following the wish of our people. Our next step is to make sure we convince more people to join our party so that all of us can move this state to the next level. I will give you all the support to strengthen the party at the local government. Monthly meetings must hold. Monthly ward meetings must hold. Attendance must be taken. Wherever there are issues, you sit down and discuss it.”
The governor argued that during Oshiomhole’s time as governor of Edo State, there was no way the national chairman would have tolerated a fraction of the misdemeanour and misbehaviour he (Oshiomhole) is undertaking today.
With the benefit of hindsight, he said that the major regret of the Edo APC was the elevation of Oshiomhole without knowing the kind of a person he is.
He directed the party chairmen to seriously deal with any persons or group carrying out activities outside what the party hierarchy has agreed to do.
Obaseki said that Oshiomhole did not build the APC as there was no party structure in place when he became governor.
He accused the national chairman of not being a party man.
He added: “You are governor or chairman based on the platform that elevated you. That is why I looked for one of the most beautiful buildings along Airport Road and said this is the secretariat of the party.
“All this nonsense they are doing. If anybody in the name of our party tries to do anything contrary to what we have agreed as a party, we will deal with that person ruthlessly no matter who he is.”
The governor insisted that party supremacy means the leadership of the party must respect the membership, noting that it is the members that make the party supreme because the members subscribe to a constitution which governs the conduct of the party.
Obaseki advised that if somebody is elected a chairman, his attitude should show if he believes in the party, noting that one man cannot be the party.
“I am the Governor of Edo State and I so authorise it. If anyone comes to your ward or local government to do things outside what the party has agreed I hereby authorise you to deal with that person seriously.
“We are warning the suspended national chairman. If he continues his activities in Edo State, I will show him that I am the Governor of Edo State. Why he was governor, he will not tolerate a fraction of the misdemeanour and misbehaviour he is undertaking today. I have declared that if Oshiomhole comes here to Edo to say he wants to disrupt the activities of the state and the party we will deal with him the way we know how best to do it.”