I am behind you as Rock of Gibraltar’, Idahosa emboldens Obaseki

Dismisses his removal as foolery

In spite of the thickening plot against the second term bid of the deeply embattled governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, a chieftain of the factonalized All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state, Charles‎ Idahosa, on Wednesday beat his chest that the governor must do two terms like his predecessors, Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion and Adams Oshiomhole, the immediate past governor with whom he had been at daggers drawn. Idahosa at whose doorstep the gale of suspension and counter-suspension that had been a recurring decimal in the sharply divided party berthed Wednesday, assured the governor that he stood with him as a rock of Gibraltar in his quest for a second term ticket. Idahosa had been suspended by a faction of the leadership of the party in his Uhunmwode local government area.

Speaking when party chairmen in the 18 local government chapters of the party paid him a solidarity visit at his residence, Idahosa, former political adviser to Oshiomhole, described the crisis rocking the party in the state as ‘a storm in a teacup’ insisting that “Obaseki must do his eight years. Nobody can stop him. If anybody, by omission or commission, ‎does that APC is dead in Edo State”. He wondered why Obaseki should not be allowed to do a second term when nobody challenged his predecessors when they sought to contest for second terms of office. Idahosa described Obaseki as very focused and straight forward, boasting that nobody can change him.

The journalist turned politician said the reason that the crisis in the party had lingered without settlement was because Oshiomhole was envious of Obaseki’s achievements. Idahosa further alleged that the APC national chairman was the one “running from settlement because he has boasted he will do this, he will do that. For those whose benevolent spirit cracked their palm kernel for them, they should not think they are God” in veiled reference to Oshiomhole. Warning against making the APC crisis a tribal matter, Idahosa said Edo State is one. He further boasted that governor Obaseki would defeat all the other governorship aspirants again as governor, saying he did so before when he was not a governor.

Speaking on a vote of no confidence and suspension slammed on him, Idahosa said it was foolery for some members of the party to suspend him from the party, stating that his purported removal did not follow due process. Some leaders of the party in Uhunmwode had announced Idahosa’s removal for appropriating the party to himself and running it as his privately- owned limited liability company where he is both the managing director and chief executive.

In the communique signed by David Osifo, a professor, Samson Osagie, Samson Otabor, Garrick Osemwengie, Washington Osifo, and Solomon Edebiri, the APC members said a disciplinary committee would be set up to look into the allegations against Idahosa who had been the leader of the party in the area and was expected to submit its report within two weeks.

They stated that the APC in Uhunmwode was now a shadow of itself as Idahosa failed to provide pragmatic and effective leadership to enhance development in the area. Idahosa was also accused of promoting factionalisation as well as sabotaging genuine efforts by well-meaning leaders and members aimed at attracting more people into the party. The party charged Osifo, Osagie, Edebiri, Washington Osifo, and John Jesurobo with providing what they termed “acceptable and democratic leadership” in the area.

But pooh-poohing his suspension, Idahosa noted that Oshiomhole was suspended by his ward leaders and not a gathering of people in a hotel. He described the meeting as that of the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) and not the APC. Raising some posers, Idahosa asked: “what was Ize-Iyamu and others doing at a meeting of supposed Uhunmwode people? Is that how to suspend somebody from a party? Oshiomhole was suspended from his ward. It is foolery to suspend me by EPM. The people there are working for the money Oshiomhole is giving them. Is Samson Osagie in APC? Is that Uhunmwode APC? Is Osagie Ize-Iyamu from Uhunmwode? Did you not see the people there? Is Ogiemwonyi Uhunmwode?”

Earlier, chairman of the forum of APC local government chairmen and chairman, Orhionmwon local government area, Ben Oghumu, had explained that the purpose of their forum was to bring sanity and unity into APC. Oghumu called for support from Idahosa, even as the chairmen threw their weight behind Obaseki’s bid for a second term as governor.    

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