…Sylva supporters vow to resist Oshimhole
By Ayo Fadimu
The Governors of Edo and Kogi States have told the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC0) that the party can’t give them the same treatment melted to the immediate past governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode as they prepare for second term as governors of their respective States
Ambode, was not allowed to seek for second term by the power that be in APC despite personal intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari. He lost the party’s ticket to the incumbent, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Kogi State commissioner for information, Hon Mohammed Awwal, in an exclusive chat with Nigerian NewsDirect said Ambode’s treatment can only happen in Lagos where there is godfather in control but not in Kogi State where there is nothing like godfatherism
“Godfatherism has died in Kogi State long time ago, in Kogi State, we don’t have godfathers that can dictate to the people” Awwal said. “In Kogi here, the governors have his foot soldiers all over the State and we will secure the party’s ticket” The Commissioner insisted that that Governor Yahaya Bello is the best candidate in APC that can win election for now.
“All the noise about non-performance on the social media are from the people who are not on ground. The governor met a problem and he is solving all those issues. He has met the infrastructural needs of the people and on salary, he is paying and when the next tranche of bail-out funds come out, he will surely pay” the commissioner added.
On the issue of the salary, the Commissioner said the governor is on the same page with the workers in the State, Awwal said, ”It may interest you that majority of the civil servants in the state are members of APC, they know the condition in which the governor met the state and what he is doing to solve the problem”
Even in Igala land where we have the stiffest opposition, the governor completed the electricity project to the village of Ibro (former governor Ibrahim Idris), he could not do that when he was in power. We also constructed theroad to the village of Idris Wada, he could not also construct the road when he was in power, so the governors have people behind him” he boasted.
Similarly, a close aide to Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki who pleaded unanimous said the powers that be are working towards Lagos treatment in Edo State. “But that cannot work in Edo because the people are different” he retorted.
Nigerian NewsDirect learnt that the last week impasse in the Edo State House of Assembly where nine members of the House met and Hon Frank Okiye and Hon Yekini Idiaye emerged as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively was done to forestall a situation where the House of Assembly was used to bully the governor as was done for Ambode. “The leadership of APC in Edo State met and decided whom to be Speaker and Deputy Speaker but some people planned to go against it because of hidden intention. If the party is preaching party supremacy at the national level, the party should also allow party supremacy to prevail at the state level” he said.
He also ruled out the scenario in Ogun and Lagos States where the preferred candidates of former Governors Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha were not given ticket by the party.
“It was a different scenario as Governor Obaseki is seeking second term ticket for himself while Amosun and Okorocha wanted to give the ticket to another person” However, he believed the political impasse will soon be solved as the party primary in the state will hold next year.
“At present, Edo State is the only APC controlled states in the Entire South East and SouthSouth, the party cannot afford to destabilize the winning team in the state” the source told our Correspondent.
In Bayelsa, supporters of the former governor of the State, Timipre Sylva have warned the National chairman of APC, Adams Oshimhole against foisting an unpopular candidate on the party as he attempted to do during the September 22, 2015 APC primary election where Sylva emerged as the candidate of the party despite the opposition of Oshiomhole, who was then the Chairman of chairman of the APC Electoral Committee Sylva has described the action of Oshimhole then as a deliberate “act of mischief” and “lies”
However, all efforts to get the reaction of the National Publicity secretary of APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu proved abortive as he did not respond to text messages sent to him and calls to his phone were not going through but a chieftain of the party who craved anonymity told our Correspondent that the governors are afraid of their shadows. “How can a governor who paid December salary in June expect the party to just dash him ticket like that” he asked. “What happened in Edo State is also a disgrace to the people especially in the State of our national Chairman” he added.
However, he promised that all aspirants will be given level playing ground. “We will not foist any unpopular candidates on our people because we are progressives and we believe in democracy” he said.
In a similar vein, the crises rocking the APC in Edo State took another dimension as the leadership of the party in Oredo Local Government Area has issued a 48-hours ultimatum to the member-elect, Oredo East Constituency, at the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), Mr. Chris Okaeben, to apologise to Governor Godwin Obaseki, for smearing the reputation of the governor in the public space.
The ultimatum was given at an expanded meeting of the leaders drawn from the 12 wards in Oredo LGA, at the APC council Secretariat in Uwa, off 3rdEast Circular Road, in Benin City, Edo State. The meeting was presided over by the Chairman, Oredo LGA APC, Mr. Goodwill Alabi, with notable leaders in attendance, including Chairman, Oredo LGA, Hon. Jenkins Osunde; former member, EDHA, Hon. Osaigbovo Iyoha; former National Vice Chairman, South-South, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Rev. Michael Egharevba; immediate past Edo APC Women leader, Aisosa Amadasun, Edo State APC Youth Leader, Hon. Valentine Asuen, among others.
At the meeting, the leaders unanimously agreed to call on Chris Okaeben to tow the path of honour and apologise to the governor or risk being recalled as their representative at the State House of Assembly. Rev. Egharevba, who spoke on behalf of the leaders, said Okaeben has 48 hours to apologise to the governor otherwise the APC in Oredo will have no other option than to explore the necessary political and legal instruments to commence his recall.
He noted, “We want to make a categorical statement. Chris Okagben, a ranking member-elect for the second term in Oredo LGA on the platform of the APC, has gone rogue, showing no respect to the party and the constituency he represents.” “With all what he said, including the accusations made against the governor and the party members, we want to disassociate ourselves from him and condemn his actions. We didn’t send him on such an errand and do not support his actions. We therefore give him 48 hours to apologise to the governor in two national dailies.”
Egharevba added “It is not our intention as a party to send any individual to represent us in the parliament, who lacks character, candor and respect for leaders and constituted authorities, and having observed with utter disappointment the way and manner in which Okaeben has conducted himself, we have decided that he lacks the necessary qualities to hold forth for us in the Edo State House of Assembly.
“If ever Okaeben possessed any good quality to be our representative in the past, his behavior in the last few months has shown that he has lost every sense of discipline and decorum and we have decided to place stiff sanction to avoid sending someone to the assembly who will soil the hard earned reputation and integrity of this constituency.
“We therefore, by this medium, unequivocally decide to give member-elect, Chris Okaeben 48 hours to render an unreserved apology to our son, the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki and the leadership of Oredo APC; and cause same to be published in two National dailies.”
He said that it was regrettable that Okaeben has taken a dishonourable path, noting “He has gone virile with his comments, insulting everybody and making unfounded allegations against his party. Oredo people strongly condemn his attitude, behaviour, disloyalty to the party. He cannot represent us if he continues like this. The leader congratulated the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye and other principal officers of the 7th Assembly. Rev. Egharevba noted, “We speak with one voice in congratulating the Speaker of the 7th Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Frank Okiye, on his emergence as Speaker and this also goes to other principal members of the Assembly. We also use this medium to urge other members-elect of the Assembly who are yet to be sworn-in to follow the lawful process and approach the new speaker for their swearing-in.”