2020: Oshiomhole/Obaseki Feud Enters Top Gear…

  • As Obaseki Loyalists Move Against Oshiomhole’s Appointees
  • Oshiomhole’s Supporters Kick Against Edo Gov. Second Term Bid

The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state took a new turn over the weekend as camps loyal to Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his predecessor in office and National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole are respectively going for the kill to accentuate their political differences and rabid interests.

Beyond the trading of words, the crisis has reached new highs. The loyalists of the Edo Governor have escalated the crisis to the national level by allegedly initiating moves aimed at reopening a review of some critical appointments of federal appointees nominated by Oshiomhole to whittle down his national influence. However, this seems to be a tall target because President Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly maintained that he will not interfere with appointment at the state level, therefore Governors should not interfere with his choice of appointees.

Notwithstanding, the source added that the affected appointees have become jittery since Obaseki’s camp began to mull over the move, following the no-love-lost situation between the two gladiators’ camps.

The New Diplomat gathered that appointees in federal positions nominated by Oshiomhole include Clem Agba, Minister of State for Budget and Planning who had served as Commissioner for Environment under Oshiomhole during his tenure in Edo; Oseni Elama, Secretary, Federal Joint Tax Board (Chairman, Edo State Internal Revenue Board. Before then, he was Special Adviser, Special Projects); Victor Eboigbe, a member of the National Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission (former Vice Chairman, Esan South East LG); Thomas Okosun he’s a member of a very lucrative federal board (former Chairman, Board of Governors, Tayo Akpata University, Chairman of APC, Edo State, former Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly) among others.

Recall that in the wake of the lingering Edo APC crisis, Obaseki had earlier dropped some nominees that came from Oshiomhole sequel to the reconstitution and dissolution of the Edo state cabinet, including some appointive positions.

In recent weeks, there has been back and forth cross fire from both sides of the divide. On Christmas day, Oshiomhole made no pretence about the feud tearing Edo to shreds as he rejected gifts sent to him by the Governor, sending the state’s emissaries away.

“The messengers said they met the mother of the former governor who rejected the items, stating that her son would not accept the gifts,” Mr Crusoe Osage, the Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Media and Communications said in a statement.

Also, last Saturday, Obaseki averred that Oshiomhole remains suspended from the party until he apologises to the APC.

“Can you imagine a national chairman that is creating problems in his own house? Because of that, we had to suspend him and he remains suspended,” He told APC members during a party meeting at the Edo North and Etsako West Local Government Areas.

Amidst the deepening feud, on Sunday, a chieftain of the APC, Kabiru Adjoto, vowed that he would stage “a massive Oshiomhole Must Go Protest nationwide’’ early in the New Year.

“I’m championing a massive Oshiomhole Must Go protest which will kick off early next year with thousands of corroborators across the 36 states of the federation,’’ Adjoto, told party members at his country home at Ikakumo in Igarraland in Edo.

Adjoto, who is currently the special adviser to Gov. Obaseki, said he would soon open “a can of worms that would seal the political fate of Oshiomhole’’.

Edo APC Drama At A Glance

  • Scene 1: Differences over policy choices
  • Scene 2: Disagrement over Edo State House of Assembly Inauguration
  • Scene 3: Divided Position Over Who’s the APC political Leader In Edo State
  • Scene 4: Going for Each Other’s Political Jugular (Oshiomhole’s Supporters Kick Against automatic ticket for Obaseki….. Obaseki Loyalists Want Oshiomhole’s Nominated Appointees Dropped From FG Positions)
  • Scene 5: ?

Meanwhile, in the Oshiomhole’s camp, supporters are not letting things slide down as they continue to devise moves that will put them in pole position in the entire brouhaha ahead of the 2020 stand alone gubernatorial election in the state.

Part of the move it was gathered is to stop Obaseki’s second term bid by preventing him from getting an APC ticket to contest as the party’s torchbearer in the election.

Following Supreme Court ruling ahead of the 2019 general elections, it became mandatory that only the National Executive Council of political parties conducts primaries for all elective positions especially governorship and national assembly positions.

Recall that INEC has repeatedly declared that it would only accept names of valid party candidates from the National chairmen of political parties. With this, Oshiomhole’ s supporters are insisting on denying Obaseki’s APC’s governorship ticket.

Already, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu whose defection into the APC has become a major highlight of the crisis is being touted as likely candidate to be backed by Oshiomhole’s supporters in Edo, barring any future changes.

Ize-Iyamu narrowly lost the 2016 gubernatorial election in the state to Obaseki. Then, he contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The New Diplomat had reported that in a recent interview, Oshiomhole’s loyalist and a former Attorney-General of Edo State, Henry Idahagbon stated that through his actions, Obaseki has isolated himself from the political class in the state, claiming that with the stand of things, he will lose Edo should any election be conducted.

“Of course you and I know that if there is a rematch today the loser will be Obaseki, because he has isolated himself from the political class, he has so delineated the political class, he doesn’t have respect and regards for the political class.

“Today, 90 per cent of the political class will vote for another candidate, not Obaseki, that is the reality on the ground,” he said.

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