The Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Anselm Ojezua, has accused former Governor of the state and suspended National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of lacking legitimacy, temperament and moral authority to lead the party.
Ojezua, who spoke during a World Press Conference at the APC Secretariat in Airport Road, Benin City, chronicled the role Comrade Oshiomhole played in the crisis in the state.
He noted that the state chapter of the party has come to the conclusion that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole lacks the capacity, temperament and moral authority to lead the Party as National Chairman, noting, “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.”
He added, “We draw particular attention to Article 21 of the Constitution of the Party which relates to 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 of national chairman including documents he signs and meetings he presides over may well be futile as his membership is already compromised. In particular, we are guided by the admonition of President Muhammadu Buhari who has consistently maintained that we must live up to the tenets and provisions of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress.”
According to him, “Mr. President has also maintained, quite rightly, that anybody who is not relevant in his Ward, Local Government Area and State cannot hold office at the National Level.
“We therefore urge Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to do the honourable thing and resign or be precluded from functioning in office while his suspension subsists.”
Chronicling the genesis of the crisis, Ojezua said, “Arising from the recent controversies and false narratives presented by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, (Suspended National Chairman of the APC), it has become necessary to set the facts straight and properly inform Nigerians of the true circumstances concerning the affairs of our dear party in Edo State. It is clear that there had all along been a grand plan to falsely create the impression of a crisis of leadership within the party in the State and these plans were hatched and executed under the directive of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and executed through his acclaimed “infantry division”.”
He added, “The ultimate objective of these activities appears to be a forcible regime change in our party in defiance of democratic norms and the wishes of the people.
“Our problems started with the conduct of Primaries to elective offices in 2018. In accordance with the resolution passed by the National Executive Committee of the Party, the leadership in Edo State decided on their preference for the indirect mode as the preferred one for Edo State however the National chairman decreed that it must be done by Direct Primaries. In order not to unnecessarily heat up the polity being sensitive of the fact that he is from Edo State, we complied.
“Contrary to the calendar circulated by the National Working Committee (NWC) where a separate day was dedicated to the conduct of the exercise for each position, the NWC did not appoint a committee to conduct Primaries in Edo State until the very last day. What is even worse is that the primaries which we conducted was unilaterally and arbitrarily cancelled by the suspended Comrade Oshiomhole Chairman, as he then was, without reference to either the State Executive of the Party or the Governor of the State.
“Even a convict is first confronted with his offence before punishment is pronounced. Although we took serious exception to this naked display of abuse of power, we had to comply with his directive to conduct fresh primaries. Had we not done that, Edo would have been exposed to the fatal consequences that befell our brothers in Zamfara and a number of other States.”
He noted that after the Presidential elections, the party received numerous reports of the anti-Party activities by individuals closely linked to Oshiomhole, noting that the objective was to justify the falsehood they were quietly peddling at the time, that the Governor was a political burden to the Party.
“In the end, Mr. President scored 267,842 votes and recorded a higher percentage in 2019 than the 208,469 he scored in 2015 when Oshiomhole was Governor.
“Governor Obaseki’s reputation and acceptability became even more evident during the House of Assembly elections where our Party swept all the seats available in a historic and an unprecedented manner; a feat never before achieved by any political Party in the history of Edo State.
On the activities of the Edo People’s Movement (EPM), he said, “Recently, when his dissident group EPM attempted to set up parallel structures in the Local Government Areas of the State, the State Executive Committee of APC considered that the matter was getting out of hand.
“The Committee met, pronounced the group unconstitutional and set up a committee to investigate reports of the activities of the group with a view to identifying those propagating it and to make appropriate recommendations to the State Executive Committee. One of those cited for investigation is the erstwhile State Secretary Mr. Lawrence Okah who was then requested to proceed on suspension pending the outcome of the Committee report.”