•Says party chair must recuse himself from Edo nomination process
Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has described the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, as a pathological betrayer who even betrayed God in his promises to Edo people.
Speaking to journalists after submitting his expression of interest and nomination forms at the party’s secretariat, Abuja, Obaseki claimed he sacrificed a lot to ensure Oshiomhole won the Edo governorship ticket and emerge national chairman of the APC.
Although he did not explicitly explain the sacrifices he made to aid Oshiomhole’s emergence as party chairman, the governor claimed Oshiomhole was broke before contesting for governorship and needed help.
He said Oshiomhole should restrain himself from participating in the forthcoming nomination process for the APC gubernatorial ticket in Edo because, as an interested party, he could not be trusted to guarantee the credibility of the process.
“In life, everybody gets help; everybody gets assisted. The person talked about (Oshiomhole) had no money when he left labour to contest (as governor). We knew what we did to make him governor. I sacrificed eight years of my life pro bono, I collected no kobo to serve him in Edo. Today, we know what we have built because of where we started from.
“So, when you talk of betrayal, the biggest betrayal can be when people betray a cause, when they betray an idea. That is the greatest betrayal of all. It is like betraying God. When you said to God, this is what I stand for, and then God gives you power and you turn around and do the exact opposite, there is no greater betrayal than that. So, when you talk about betrayal, let us be very clear. I want to put it on record that I am grateful, he assisted me just as I assisted him. I know the sacrifices we made to make him national chairman. So, what are we talking about?
“The reason I went to see our national leader is that I don’t want the party torn apart. I am a man of peace. For me and my colleague governors, we cannot see a party we built destroyed, we cannot see a ruling party being so weakened and whatever it will take to secure peace, to secure harmony, I am prepared to make.
“That is why I joined my colleagues to go and see Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to assure him that we are all working for the same cause, we are all working to build our party. From 26 states, we are now 20. We don’t want to lose any more state, there is really no reason to. We should all drop our egos and work for our party and the unity of our country.
“However, I am using this opportunity to call on Oshiomhole to recuse himself from the Edo nomination process because he is an interested party. It is against natural justice for a man to be a judge in his own case. So, I think the honourable thing to do is to excuse himself and let’s have a free process and let’s reconcile and build our party,” Obaseki said.
Obaseki listed the following as reasons for seeking re-election: “Three years is not enough, four years is not enough, to crystallise all these reforms. So, another four years will give me that opportunity to consolidate on what we have done. That is a promise of APC; we are a reformist party, we are a progressive party. That’s why I am here today to indicate my interest and my desire to run for another term as governor of Edo, so that I can continue in the service of my people.”
The governor said, though he was sure of victory, whether the party adopted direct or indirect primaries, there was the need to follow constitutional requirements.
“The bases of any democracy are the rules, that is why the most important document in our party is our constitution. Our constitution is very detailed and it spells out clearly how we should undertake our affairs as a party. The constitution stipulates what mode of primaries is allowed in our party and how decisions to the type of primaries you want to run should be arrived that.
It’s clearly stated in our constitution and so, for me, I believe that, as a lawful party, we will do things according to the constitution. So, direct or indirect, I am certain I will win the primaries,” said.
The Edo State governor dismissed rumours that he plans to join the PDP as absurd: “How can I collect form from two parties when we have rulings in the past disqualifying people on that? I am a party man to the core. APC is my party because I come from a progressive political family.
I believe in the ideals of APC, I believe in our President, I believe in what he stands for. So, I am a party man to the core. I am not an old-style politician. I represent a new direction of politics that is based on facts and truth, not lies.”