Edo Guber: APC Chieftain Asks Tinubu, Ganduje to Prevail on Oshiomhole

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Edo State chapter,  Elder Roland Osakwe, has faulted the outcome of the screening committee allegedly assembled by former Governor of the state, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole to prune down aspirants vying for the state governorship.

Osakwe, who suspected foul play in the screening process, alleged Oshiomhole’s biased towards certain strong contenders as a way of discouraging them.

He contended that the disqualification of these aspirants by Oshiomhole’s assembled committee was either to do his bidding of having a weak candidate for his personal benefit, or working in favour of the opposition party in the state.

“The intention is to weaken the support base of some of these APC members in the state so as to pave way for a weak candidate for his personal benefit or working in favor of the opposition party,” he said.

Osakwe questioned the rationale behind the committee’s decisions, pointing out discrepancies such as the disqualification of experienced candidates like a former Governor and a Professor of Law, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor while seemingly favouring less qualified aspirants.

He also highlighted instances where individuals with questionable backgrounds or past allegations were reportedly endorsed by the committee which raised concerns about its transparency and fairness.

Osakwe further noted that Oshiomhole’s actions may be driven by personal agenda or alliances with Governor Godwin Obaseki, rather than the best interests of the APC, speculating that the potential ulterior motives behind the committee’s decisions has something to do with the alleged business ambitions and political collaborations between Oshiomhole and Obaseki.

He said: “The screening outcome suggests that Oshiomhole may be working for the opposition party by screening out the most formidable aspirants out of the race for weaker ones or else, how can a rational leader suggests that while a recently retired Permanent Secretary, a political neophyte would be qualifying for the job, a former Governor and Professor of Law is being disqualified.

“While a former two-time Commissioner under his regime and immediate past Minister of State for Budget and Planning, Clem Agba and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu a former Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Edo State Government, who was also the APC gubernatorial candidate in the last governorship election in 2020, are being disqualified. Rather, we are being told that a certain former commissioner whose character has been called to question during the administration of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and now member House of Representatives is the anointed candidate.

“It would be recalled that during the second term administration of Oshiomhole in 2015, this favoured aspirant was accused by the government of fraud.

“The question therefore, would be why would Oshiomhole or his screening committee pass a questionable aspirant to stand in an election where Governor Godwin Obaseki can easily approach the courts to get him disqualified with the instrumentality of government.

“Edo people smell suspicion somewhere. It’s either a plot to field an easily beatable candidate that can be disqualified by the court of law to enable the Obaseki candidate win the elections easily or nothing. Otherwise, what qualifies this anointed aspirant more than Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor and former Minister Clem Agba?”

Osakwe also noted that “Findings have shown that all actions of Oshiomhole since last year have been geared towards the outcome of the APC producing the weakest, most contaminated and unpopular aspirants as party candidate to the detriment of more qualified and untainted aspirants in order to give Mr. Asue Ighodalo, Governor Godwin Obaseki’s anointed candidate an easy pathway to Osadebey House.

“Therefore, in Oshiomhole’s political game, Idahosa was positioned as an APC flag-bearer with the odds stacked against him. It appears that he is being set up to fail in order to further Oshiomhole’s personal agenda with Obaseki in their bid to settle their differences and come to terms with the business interest in existence between the trio, Asue Ighodalo being a member of the Economic Team of Adams Oshiomhle while he holds sway as the Governor of Edo State for eight years between 2008 and 2016.

“Speculations have arisen linking Senator Oshiomhole’s personal interests to his alleged business ambitions with Governor Godwin Obaseki. It is believed that Oshiomhole desired to forge lucrative partnerships with Obaseki, benefitting financially from their political collaboration especially with his recent romance with his government. Attending recent events organised by the Governor Obaseki and Asue Ighodalo, receiving awards in one of the events with pleasantries among the so called political opponents if truly they are, is suspicion.”

Osakwe therefore, commended the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party for the prompt action by issuing out a statement denouncing Oshiomhole’s illegal screening committee, adding that no party member no matter how highly placed cannot usurped the powers of the NWC, just as he called for any interested aspirant to come forward and obtain the party’s expression of interest form and nomination form in order to prepare and make themselves available for screening at the party national secretariat which is currently going ahead of the February 17, governorship primary election to pick a candidate.

He further called on President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the National Chairman of APC among other stakeholders to be wary of the antics of Oshiomhole, especially with the videos that surface on line showing the APC Chairman of Etsako West LGA which is  Oshiomhle’s LG accompanying one of the aspirants Hon Denis Idahosa on campaigns of the Edo North Senatorial District, alleging that Idahosa is the anointed candidate of the party by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

“All the above scenario will create crisis within the party in Edo State if not checked. Therefore, there’s the need for thorough scrutiny of the leadership and executives of APC in the state by the NWC to call them to order as a commitment to uphold integrity and meritocracy within the APC,” Osakwe declared.

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