- The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state is heightening and as it seems no solution is on sight
- This is as the party prepares for the 2020 governorship election in the state
- The crisis as a result of the political feud between the APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Governor Godwin Obaseki
A report by Vanguard indicates that the crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state is getting worse by the day.
Governor Godwin Obaseki and APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, have been at loggerheads over the control of the party structure in the state.
Recently, Governor Obaseki held a meeting with a section of the leaders of the party, where he proscribed the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), a pressure group within the state APC.
The group is said to be loyal to Oshiomhole and also opposed to the governor's second term aspiration.
Governor Obaseki in making the pronouncement, further directed all the local government chairmen in the state to ensure that members of EPM do not hold meetings in their localities.
The governor, however, faced resistance as he announced his decision.
APC chairman in Etsako Central local government area,Suleiman Bagudu openly disagreed with the governor when he made the declaration.
Bagudu reminded the governor that the people concerned were APC members therefore it would amount to waging war against fellow party men and women.
Bagudu further reminded the governor that he (Obaseki) and his deputy, Philip Shaibu formed Obaseki/ Shaibu Solidarity Movement (OSM), therefore, if he decided to ban EPM he should start from OSM.
Angered by his comment, Obaseki stood up to remind Bagudu about his status as governor of the state and berated him for attempting to test his might.
But, a defiant Bagudu remained dogged, insisting that the decisions of the governor to clamp down on fellow party members was capable of derailing the fortunes of the party in the coming governorship election.
To further heighten the tension, the state government sacked four elected local government chairmen including that of Oshiomhole’s local government Yakubu Musa (Etsako West).
Others included Eghe Ogbemudia (Egor), Patrick Aguinede (Esan West) and Aremiyau Momoh.
Though the state government alleged that they were sacked over alleged misappropriation of funds, the sacked chairmen dismissed that as untrue and an attempt to deceive the public, saying they were only opposed to the the state government.
Besides the chairmen who were sacked, over 250 special assistants in the 18 local government areas were equally sacked.
The state secretary of the APC, Lawrence Okah was equally suspended due to his alleged refusal to join forces with the governor against Oshiomhole.
Okah, however, described his suspension as illegal, asserting that neither the governor nor the state chairman of the party, Anslem Ojezua had the powers to suspend him.
The crisis have no doubt polarized the party in the state with political watchers saying violence and blood bath may not be ruled out.
Already, as last weekend in Ivbiaro community, Owan East local government area of the state, EPM members holding their meeting were attacked.
There are genuine fears that violence, leading to bloodbath may visit the state before and after the governorship election if the crisis between Oshiomhole and Obaseki is not resolved now.
Meanwhie, governors elected on the platform of the ruling APC have commiserated with the director-general of the Voice of Nigeria (VON) Chief Osita Okechukwu, over the demise of his wife Augustina Okechukwu recently.
The Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) in a condolence letter addressed to Okechukwu on Tuesday, October 29 expressed sadness over the passing of the APC chieftain's spouse.
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