By Chris Azebamwan
The very misleading report by Urhokpota Reporters that Governor Obaseki walked out on the Chairman of the APC, Edo State, Barr. Anselm Ojezua at a meeting to address the recent misunderstanding in Edo State House of Assembly could not have been further from the truth.
Remarkably, the story had no byline and was not credited to anyone but if your reporter was at the APC Secretariat on Monday the 14th of August, he should have had the honesty and integrity to admit that the meeting with the honorable members was behind closed doors to which the press corps was not admitted. There is no way the reporter could have witnessed a walkout by the Governor.
The Governor of Edo State and the APC as the ruling party are working in synergy and are determined to run an open and responsive government. Your reporter had ample opportunity to clear his suspicion when the Chairman addressed the press corps at the end of the meeting. He chose instead, to go to town with the product of his own imagination in place of facts.
The press as the fourth estate of the realm, owes a fundamental duty to the reading public to publish the truth and nothing else. Falsehood and sensationalism do not conform to the ethics of your noble profession which is to inform and educate.
The facts are these. A majority of members of the Edo State House of Assembly effected a change in the leadership of the House in accordance with the House rules. Those who were in favor and those who were against the change thereafter proceeded to the State Secretariat of the APC to inform the party leadership of the development.
The Governor was duly informed and he chose to meet with the honorable members and the Party leadership on the same platform. Both sides to the misunderstanding presented their versions of the incident. At that juncture, it was decided that the signatures on the impeachment notice needed to be verified.
The other major issue that was of concern to the Party leadership was the balance of power in the State. The honorable members and in particular the new leadership were urged to be sensitive to this long standing tripod arrangement which ensures that the positions of Governor, his deputy and the Speaker of the House are shared equally to the three senatorial districts in the state. This is what guarantees political stability in Edo State and the point was made that failure to adhere to it would surely generate needless and avoidable agitation from Edo Central Senatorial District. Recognizing that tension was high, and nerves were frayed, it was amicably agreed that all parties should meet with the Governor and the Party leadership the next day at 9.00am. The State Chairman Anselm Ojezua was mandated to brief the press and he said, and I quote, “We are talking. As soon as we finish talking, we will let you know the outcome. But know that we are all still talking”. That the Governor exited the conference room ahead of everyone present is standard protocol and did not in any way translate to storming out or walking out on the Chairman.
All the conspiracy theories are false and baseless. The immediate past Governor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole holds his successor Godwin Obaseki in high regard and their relationship is based on mutual respect. Comrade Oshiomhole left office a fulfilled man, knowing that Governor Obaseki would build on his legacies of development and good governance. Any and every attempt to drive a wedge into the cohesive leadership of the APC in Edo State is doomed to fail.
The Edo State House of Assembly is made up of loyal party men and women who are independent-minded in the discharge of their legislative functions and will not lend themselves to manipulation or blackmail by anyone, no matter how highly placed as insinuated in your article. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole served the good people of Edo State meritoriously for eight years and has honorably bowed out of the stage. He should be left to enjoy his life as a private citizen without intrigues and conspiracy theories.
Finally, we hope Urhokpota Reporters will give this rejoinder the same prominence and circulation that it gave their misleading article.
Azebamwan is the Edo State Publicity Secretary of the APC