Accepts suspension of state chairman
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that it has constituted a fact-finding and reconciliation committee of party leaders to meet with all disputing parties to ensure that all issues affecting the Edo State chapter of the party are addressed and resolved.
The National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday after the NWC meeting held at the party secretariat, Abuja.
He said the NWC also received a notification of the suspension of the Edo State APC Chairman, Mr. Anselem Ojezua, by eleven (11) out of the sixteen (16) members of the Edo State Working Committee (SWC).
Issa-Onilu said that the NWC reviewed the process and concluded that they have fulfilled the required conditions.
He said the NWC, therefore, upheld the suspension of Ojezua while it awaits the outcome of the fact-finding and reconciliation committee.
He stated: “The National Working Committee (NWC) of APC has watched with grave concern the political development within the party’s ranks in Edo State and is deeply disturbed by the recent turn of events. We note that this is happening in spite of the various steps the party has taken to find an amicable resolution.”
Issa-Onilu recalled that party leaders such as the Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu, and other eminent party leaders, had all tried at various times to ensure that the issues do not escalate.
He said that sadly, these interventions had not yielded the desirable results, but noted that the immediate concern of the NWC was how to ensure that unity returned to the ranks of the party in Edo State.
Issa-Onilu stressed: “In achieving this, we have decided to constitute a high-power fact-finding and reconciliation committee of party leaders to meet with all disputing parties to ensure that all issues are addressed and resolved.”
The party stated categorically that the NWC’s objective and cause of action was strictly to address the root causes of the disputations and reconcile all parties to make the party even stronger.
Faction suspends Obaseki, Others
Meanwhile a faction in the state has announced the suspension of the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, from the party over alleged anti-party activities.
Also suspended along with the governor, were his deputy, Mr. Philip Shaibu, and Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Osarodion Ogie.
But reacting to the gale of suspensions rocking the APC in the state, the PDP state chairman, Mr. Dan Orbih said it is only in APC that a national chairman, the state chairman and the secretary would be suspended in one day.
Addressing journalists in Benin, Orbih wondered how a disorganised party like APC can rule the state and be expected to restore law and order.
Responding to the allegation that Obaseki gave PDP, N6 billion to enable him to defect to the PDP, Orbih said: “Governor Obaseki has no business giving anybody money to join the PDP. If he has N6 billion to join PDP, I will advise him to spend that money to address the problems of the state.”
Speaking on the defection of Pastor Ize-Iyamu from the party, Orbih said as far as PDP was concerned in Edo State it remains one indivisible family.
“I have with me here, party chairmen from all the 18 Local Government Areas in the state. No one has been suspended. The exit of anyone can not affect the fortune of PDP in Edo State.
“A few years ago when he (Ize-Iyamu) left APC, he said he was coming home. Now, we also read that he said he was going home when he was reported to have defected to APC. I’m saying that if he has decided to leave, he has not officially informed us that he is leaving for APC,” he said.
Addressing party members in Benin City, however, a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Patrick Ikhariale, who spoke on behalf of party leaders and members across the state, reeled out a litany of wrong-doings against the Obaseki’s administration, saying that the governor had deviated from the APC manifesto.
Among the many sins of Obaseki, Ikhariale stated is governor’s hobnobbing with the opposition PDP, divisive tendencies, operating an illegally constituted house of assembly among others.