* It’s laughable, says Oshiomhole’s faction
* Ize-Iyamu denies forging party’s membership card
Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city
The faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State loyal to the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has urged the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, to honorably resign or be prohibited from functioning in office while his suspension subsists.
The group said any action taken by Oshiomhole in his capacity as the national chairman, including documents signed and meetings presided over by him, might be futile as his membership was already compromised, adding that the party in the state will not honour it. The APC faction also denied issuing the party’s membership cards to Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his followers.
Addressing a press conference at the party secretariat in Benin-city, the state capital, the factional state Chairman of the party, Mr. Anselm Ojezua, traced the genesis of the party’s crisis to the conduct of the party primaries ahead of the last general election.
Ojezua stated that events have shown that there had been a grand plan to falsely create the impression of a crisis of leadership within the party in the state.
He noted that such plans were hatched and executed under the directive of Oshiomhole and executed through his acclaimed ‘infantry division’.
Against this backdrop, he said the state APC has concluded that Oshiomhole lacked the capacity, temperament and moral authority to lead the APC as a national chairman.
“In any case, having been placed on suspension as a member of the party, he has lost the legitimacy to act in any capacity in the party.
“We draw particular attention to Article 21 of the APC constitution which relates to the discipline of party members and the powers of respective organs of the party to take disciplinary actions against members. In the circumstances, any action taken in the capacity as national chairman, including documents he signs and meetings he presides over may well be futile as his membership is already compromised.
“The case of Ize-Iyamu is an interesting one. Some members of the APC have expressed concern over the level of desperation that was exhibited by the people bringing them in and the people coming in. I have never seen such display. It is unnatural for a visitor to determine the terms and conditions of visit to a house that is not his own. I have been in touch with all the local government leaders, none of them is aware. It is not normal, and it makes me feel suspicious of the true motive of those people concerned.
Reacting however, Pastor Ize-Iyamu, who recently decamped to APC, said he cannot condescend so low to forge a party card because he wants to join the APC, adding: “I am too big for that.”
According to him, “During my interaction with journalists before my formal declaration last Friday, I made it clear that no one joins a political party from the state level but through the ward level, and the membership card I carry today was duly signed by the APC ward chairman of Ugboko Ward. Ize-Iyamu said rather that welcoming those who came to join them, some members of the APC in the state are over reacting.
Meanwhile, the APC Secretary, Mr. Lawrence Okah, who is with the Oshiomhole faction of the party, said the call for Oshiomhole’s resignation is laughable because it is coming from members of the Obaseki/Shaibu Solidarity Movement (OSM) and not APC members.
Okah said Ojezua is the Chairman of OSM and not the state APC now led by Col. David Imuse (rtd) as the authentic chairman of the part and recognised by the National Working Committee (NWC).
According to Okah, “I said it is laughable because we have not seen where a tenant will ask the landlord to leave the house. Obaseki and Ojezua are bunch of confused men who have lost focus as to how a party is run.