Hoodlums Friday night attacked the venue of a rally a faction of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Edo State held in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government, setting ablaze the podium constructed for speakers, hundreds of chairs and two vehicles at the venue.
The National Chairman of APC, Mr, Adams Oshiomhole expressed shock at the level of damage, though claimed that the APC“is a party of peace and would continue to preach the same.
He assured the people that the party would win the governorship election in the state.
“When I was told that they burnt this place last night, I said they must be prepared to put more fire in other places because they cannot stop us. But do not allow anybody to push you to any length that will provoke you to fight.
“Those who think they have power to fight should channel such energy against the opposition parties. What is happening here should reinforce our confidence in God, when God decrees peace, nothing can stop it, when God says it, no man can stop it, “the national chairman said
But at the rally yesterday Oshiomhole explained his decision to join forces with other party leaders to receive members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that defected to the APC despite opposition from some quarters.
Oshiomhole, who has been at loggerheads with Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, said election was a game of number and required having large number of supporters to win.
After receiving the PDP members, Oshiomhole explained that it “is only a foolish politician that will behave in that manner, forgetting that before he became whatever he is, his support first came from the grassroots, namely: unit, ward, local government, senatorial districts and the state.
He reiterated the advice of President Muhammad Buhari at the last NEC meeting of the party on the need for every member of the party to always ensure support base from the grassroots,
He said: “It is for that singular reason that he always identifies with those at the grassroots. Let me tell politicians in high places, the only permanent position is the grassroots.
“That is why I am proud and happy when I am with the ordinary members of APC because in the party we are all equal. Any politician that fails to realize the importance of the grassroots is doomed.
“Politics is local. That is why I do not want to be a national chairman of a party at Abuja and on election day, I cannot deliver my unit. I do not want to be a national chairman who does not go round to campaign and on election day, I cannot deliver my ward.
“I do not want to be a national chairman who will be in the comfort of his office in Abuja and when election day comes, he will lose his local government and senatorial district.
“I do not also want to be a national chairman who on election day cannot deliver his member of the state assembly and national assembly. That kind of chairman will not be useful to his party. Every politics is local. If you cannot do all these, what kind of chairman are you?
“If I do not come home, how can I win elections? Even as I play national politics, I cannot neglect my unit, ward, local government, senatorial districts and state meetings because you cannot claim to be a leader when you alienate yourself from your support base.
“That is why we are rugged in the struggle. There are people who think that the moment you occupy a national position, you should forget about the locals. They forget that if you do not associate with your people because you are occupying a national position, one day you will leave that position and come back to their level.
“The only permanent position is the grassroots. That is the only place you cannot fall again. That was why I joined our senatorial leader of Edo North of the APC, Mr. Malik Afegbua and a host of others to receive our brothers and sister from the PDP who have come to join us.”
Oshiomhole, therefore, advised the APC leaders at all levels in the state “to make available to the new members, party card to signify they are now full members of the APC.”
He also enjoined the various party leaders to interact with the new members, socialise with them, build fellowship and trust
He equally asked those who have come to join APC to fully integrate themselves by availing themselves the opportunity to register in order to become full members of APC.