The disagreement between the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and his protege in Edo State, Governor Godwin Obafemi, is widening with a call by the party to the Governor to formally proclaim the State House of Assembly, and discountenance what it described as a charade where nine members out of 24 elected principal officers of the House.
The call to Obaseki and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government in Bauchi State comes as a former aide of Oshiomhole when he was governor of Edo State has asked him to resign his office for peace to reign, and if he did not want Edo lost to the PDP.
In a statement, titled ‘APC Statement on Edo, Bauchi Houses of Assembly Inauguration, Election Charade’, the ruling party condemned the charade being presented as the inauguration of new State Houses of Assembly in Edo and Bauchi States.
Party spokesman, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu said the party viewed the illegality with shock and disappointment.
He adds: “As a party that has made a commitment to change, we strongly reject any attempt to take recourse to brigandage of the past, when democratic practices were defined by the inordinate whims of people in power. Democracy must be governed by the rule of law. A situation where 11 lawmakers in the 31-member Bauchi State House of Assembly and nine lawmakers in the 24-member Edo State House of Assembly were secretly ‘inaugurated’ and purportedly ‘elect’ principal officers behind closed doors is a joke and an embarrassment. It is an unfortunate reminder of PDP’s queer brand of democracy. Practices like this are unacceptable under APC-led administration. As a party that is committed to higher ideals, we would use all democratic means necessary to ensure the right thing is done.
“Perhaps the actors in the inauguration sham in Edo and Bauchi States need to be reminded of the recent and widely-commended election of presiding officers in the newly-inaugurated 9th National Assembly. Our party has set new standards in party politics by upstaging the rule of force, while upholding the rule of law.
“It needs restating that every elected lawmaker has a legitimate right to participate unhindered in the inauguration of the legislative arm in which he/she belongs. The plot to arm-twist the majority in favour of the minority in the legislative arm died with the defeat of the PDP in 2015.
“We therefore call on the Governors of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed to urgently do the needful by issuing a proper letter of proclamation to allow for the lawful inauguration of the respective state House of Assembly and subsequent election of presiding officers in a transparent manner”.
Meanwhile, former Political Adviser to Oshiomhole, Mr Charles Idahosa, has called for the resignation of his former boss from the position of the National Chairman of APC.
At a press conference in Benin City, Idahosa said, “We are all not very happy with what is happening in Edo State today, especially with the political division and the confusion. This is a situation in which we ought to be very happy; it is so strange. It is like a tragi-comedy with what is happening. We have a governor who was brought up by a political party and the people out there are very happy and commending this governor for working so hard. He is very popular and you will attest to that but the problem is with the leadership of the party.
“While the voters are very excited, the people who brought him into power are not happy with him because, according to them, he is not carrying them along.”
He pointedly accused Oshiomhole of been responsible for the problem of the APC in Edo State.
“People like us know that these boys on the streets are his boys. I am not his boy because we are contemporaries. Adams Oshiomhole’s refusal to speak means he is supporting them because I do not see anything wrong for him to come out and say he did or did not send them….
“In any superior democracy, any civilized society, you came in as a national chairman, you lost five states in your first outing. How can we lose Oyo State? The heart of old Western Region. We lost Rivers. The bucks stop on your table, you are the chairman. In a decent society, he should resign. He shouldn’t wait for anybody to tell him. You lost five states. Today we have no foothold in the South East”.