A faction of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state loyal to the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has suspended Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shuaibu.
The factional State Chairman, Col. David Imuse (rtd), and factional State Secretary, Lawrence Okah, while addressing journalists on Wednesday in Abuja, said the duo together with Secretary to State Government, Osarodion Ogie, were suspended from the APC after passing a vote of no confidence on them.
They accused Governor Obaseki of suppressing all forms of perceived opposition and removing elected council officials “indiscriminately” from office with impunity in his determination to ensure that no credible opposition emerged in the forthcoming primaries.
The faction said there was “clear and unambiguous evidence” by the admission of the Governor himself that he supported and worked with opposition candidate in areas where his favoured aspirants did not pick the party ticket.”
They said such pattern of anti-party activities led to electoral losses in Edo South Senatorial District including the Ward and local government of the governor.
They also claimed that the governor together with the factional chairman loyal to him, Anselm Ojezua, worked with the PDP with a view to undermining the electoral value of the APC preparatory to his defection.
“The chronicles of events are geared towards weakening and eventual destruction of the APC and intended to truncate our ability to win the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
“In light of the foregoing, it has become obvious that Mr. Obaseki has become a liability to the APC. We can no longer fold our arms and watch him drag our collective political fortunes into the abyss in his desperate bid to destroy the party. The only option is to protect the interest of all stakeholders who have laboured assiduously to build up the party.
“Consequently, we hereby pass a vote of no-confidence on Mr Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki and his leadership team comprising Hon. Phillip Shaibu (Dep. Governor) and Osarodion Ogie (Secretary to Government) and they are hereby suspended from the party.
“We wish to use this medium to put the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies on notice that members of the State Working Committee of the APC, Edo state, were harassed and hounded out of Benin City following the vote of no-confidence passed on Anselm Ojezua.
“Thugs and hoodlums were mobilized to our houses in the dead of the night, and some others were stationed at strategic locations including the Benin Airport.
“We urge the Inspector General of Police to take necessary steps to protect our lives and property that are now at risk following the threats that followed our patriotic action to savage the image and future of our party,” the faction said in a prepared speech.
The faction also faulted the suspension of the APC National Chairman and its secretary, Okah.
“The purported suspension of Mr. Lawrence Okah and his subsequent removal from office is a nullity and we hereby pass a vote of implicit confidence on him and so he remains the State secretary of the APC, Edo State chapter.
“We note with grave concern a resolution by an unknown organ of APC in Edo state claiming to have passed a vote of no confidence on the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole and suspending him from the party.
“This development would have been laughable if it did not have serious implications for the overall integrity of our party. Their decision is unconstitutional and it is unheard of, for a lower level party hierarchy official to want to take disciplinary action against an official or organ on a higher level.
“We therefore pass a vote of implicit confidence on the National Chairman Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC.
“We wish to reiterate our position that Edo APC was plunged in this crisis by the unguarded actions and inflammatory statements by Anselm Ojezua.
“Thuggery and political violence has spiked and escalated in the pursuit of the second term ambition of Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Mr. Philip Shuaibu.
“This is exemplified by the various incidence of the attack on the Benin residence of the National Chairman, the congregation of thugs on motorbike that were led by Hon. Philip Shuaibu (Deputy Governor) to the convocation of Edo University, Iyamho; the mayhem that was visited on the political meeting in Owan East LGA.
“The same pattern was repeated at lkpoba Okha LGA in Hon. Osarobo’s residence. On 18th June, 2019, members of our party who were elected into the Edo State House of Assembly were violently attacked by armed thugs,” they said.