24 June 2019

Nigeria: Oyegun Tackles Oshiomhole Over Crisis in Edo Politics

A former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, has chided his successor, Adams Oshiomhole, over his undue interference in the politics of Edo State.

Messrs Odigie-Oyegun and Oshiomhole, who is the current APC chairman, are both from the South-south state. Both are former governors of the state.

According to a PUNCH report, Mr Odigie-Oyegun accused Mr Oshiomhole of "sabotaging' Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State's interest in the governorship election holding next year.

Mr Oyegun reportedly stated this in his reaction to the decision of the APC National Working Committee on the current crisis rocking Edo State House of Assembly.

PREMIUM TIMES reported the crisis generated in Edo State House of Assembly after nine of the 24 lawmakers were controversially inaugurated on Wednesday as principal officers.

The process was described as "charade" and "illegal" in a statement signed by the party National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu.

PREMIUM TIMES also reported how the governor and Mr Oshimhole, who is a former labour leader, are currently embroiled in a cold war for supremacy.

Salvo

Speaking through his Special Assistant on Political Affairs, Chief Ray Murphy, Mr Oyegun lamented "the distraction Obaseki is receiving from his own party rather than from the opposition angle of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)."

"Today, there are all kinds of rancour coming from Edo State. They all boil down to godfatherism.

"Obaseki is the executive governor of Edo state and he should be allowed to exercise the powers vested in him by the law. To what purpose is this idea of the APC chairman putting the state under tension?

"I have not heard that PDP or Edo leaders want to remove Obaseki. What has been trending is how his predecessor who happens to be the party chairman does not want him back in the office," he added.

He cautioned against anti-party activities and linked the political tussle to the 2020 governorship election in the state.

This is not the first time Mr Odigie-Oyegun would be publicly reprimanding his successor.

He was one of the prominent party officials who, a few weeks ago, accused the APC chairman of causing the string of losses suffered by the ruling party in some states.

'Not true'

Meanwhile, Mr Oshiomhole has denied imposing his wish on the people of Edo State "or playing the role of a godfather".

According to the PUNCH, he told State House correspondents in Abuja, that those accusing him should justify how he constituted himself into a godfather.

"What is the evidence? It is all about accusation. The media has a duty. They have to give you the particulars of that godfatherism. What is the evidence? I am a democrat."

He said the solution to the crisis in Edo State legislature remained "keeping to the provisions of the constitution".

He reportedly added, "You know the law provides for how the House should be proclaimed transparently."

Nigeria

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