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In this interview with NAIJA CENTER NEWS, a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and leader of the Joint Action for the Advancement of Democracy in Edo (JAADE) Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo talks about the rift between the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole and the state governor, Godwin Obaseki.
Edokpolo explained why many of the APC Chieftain in the state are not happy with Obaseki.
There is a political war in Edo APC, how do you think the party is doing in Edo state?
For me, war is relative. The vociferous expression of disenchantment against the ”chief managers of Edo State Government “and the corresponding responses by those accused of disenchantment may sound war-mongering, and not necessarily a war in its strict sense.
Yes, some Edo APC leaders have bitterly expressed their minds to the governance policy of Governor Godwin Obaseki, while those tied to the apron strings of Government House believe that the Governor deserves to be supported for a second term regardless of the massive capital flight arising from over patronization of non-indigent contractors.
Similarly, others who worked so hard in the last election and are victims of crass exclusion from the political and Government’s scheme of things believe that the Governor should drop his second term ambition and face his financial institution business in Lagos.
By and large, some people are taking side with Government House over the midnight inauguration of Edo State House of Assembly because of their misconstrued empathy for the Governor second term. Some of us believe the unpopular inauguration of MINORITY rule in Edo State House of Assembly, and Governor Obasekis 2nd term aspiration is two separate issues that cannot be treated in one blow.
Firstly, the midnight inauguration is alien to modern civilisation, antithetical to the rule of law, and a brutal affront on section 91 of Nigeria constitution as amended, and cannot stand on empirical reasoning logic. In a nutshell, I am not aware that APC members are at war, yes, I agree that divergent views have been expressed on the Governor’s indisposition to political patronage for fellow APC leaders, and I dare say that the reward for tactical political commitment to a Governor’s enthronement is not criminalization but appreciation. Every labourer deserves his wage, and the wages for a successful political network is an appropriation of ‘goodies’ to deserving stakeholders. It is not a crime by any evaluation.
The governor continuously alleged that the time to share money to thugs is over, wasn’t he defending why he allegedly awards contracts to friends outside the state?
All APC members of good conscience believe that thuggery should no longer be encouraged. Thuggery should be history, but the criminalization of politicians is not a good omen.
Oshiomhole and Obaseki fight has torn the party into two camps, who do you think is responsible?
Governor Obaseki and Oshiomhole are not fighting and I don’t see them fighting in future. It is only natural that a national chairman of a party will take more than a cursory interest in the political patronage to dedicated party members of his state of origin and states where his party has a grip of influence in order to continually lubricate the election-winning machinery.
So, beyond roads and other public facilities rehabilitation, the average politician wants a greater ratio of contracts awards to revolve among themselves after all politics is a vocation. Some politicians have upwardly mobile businesses, and they are eminently qualified for patronage, and they also believe that if they fail in delivering upto standards and specification as enshrined in the contracts manual they should be investigated and prosecuted accordingly instead of the parlous state of capital flight as a result of alarming level of contracts award to none indigent contractors.
Obaseki camp describes Oshiomhole as a godfather, do you think he is from the series of accusations?
Godfather is to a Roman Catholic a person committed to the mentoring of children or teenagers to a reasonable spiritual ladder. Although the notorious dimension implies dictatorship and circumvention of a sustainable compass because of selfish interest.
Those of us familiar with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole antecedent knows that he is not given to crass circumvention or dictating for Governor Obaseki. He allows a free hand to anyone he has confidence in. So, those accusing him of crass circumvention are unfair.
Let me add that politicians who mean very well for APC ran to Adams Oshiomhole on account of their fear that the seeming crass exclusivity of dedicated party faithful will spell doom if not checked, and as Comrade Oshiomhole was contemplating making an excursion into the allegations, the midnight inauguration emerged, and 15 members were excluded from taking part in an ordinary ceremonial induction in the most brazen clandestine fashion. There lies the seeming implosion. I am nonetheless optimistic of the resolution of the issues in a short while.
Whatever happening under Obaseki happened when Oshiomhole was the governor, many lawmakers were not paid even after court orders and the roof of the State House of Assembly was removed to get at the lawmakers. What’s different now?
Under Oshiomhole, the alleged violations or impunity were condemned, we should also condemn this one not minding whose ox is gored.
The government has called them to return for swearing-in, is this still the governor’s fault?
That’s a disguised glorification of illegality. There is no House of Assembly by the expressed position of section 91 it goes without saying that the inauguration hasn’t been done yet.
There was audio from a relation of the APC chairman bragging on how they are making money from the rift by staying out of the state, how is this attributed to the state Governor?
It is up to you to clinically examine the authenticity of the audio, I am not in a position to authenticate it
Quickly give a breakdown of Obaseki administration, do you think Oshiomhole’s allegation is right that he was not doing enough?
If my reading as a partisan player in this evolving APC issue is correct, Adams Oshiomhole main concern is in the disconnect between Mr Governor and critical party stakeholders. A father will naturally sue for unity because divided we fall, and United we stand. APC is a family, and we are bound to disagree to agree.
I abhor the escalating tendencies who are aiding and abetting the exclusion of most members-elect, it is unfair to exclude genuine stakeholders like what was melted on 15 Assembly members-elect on 17th June based on false perception.
Does he have a shot in the second term?
The issue of having a shot for 2nd term is premature as the Governor is less than three years in office. Besides, his ability to inspire a harmonious relationship amongst the greatest number of party faithful is cardinal to the 2nd term ticket actualization. You can’t build something on anything, the Governor must demonstrate that he is a father by deploying the carrot and stick approach with all sense of fairness to all. No right-thinking Edo man or woman will support the devilishly touted story of plans to impeach the Governor.
It cannot stand, Benins will reject the plot, Afemais will reject the plot, Esan will reject it, the Owans will reject it likewise. The storyline of impeachment was hatched by some ‘network guys’ who desire to enrich themselves or profiteering from the political tension because money will definitely change hands. It was a figment of their imagination.
Do you believe in the alleged settlement between both?
Settlement in politics is a process that leads to harmonious co-habitation. I see settlement coming, and it will be extensive in terms of stakeholdership. It will be deepened to the Local Government and wards structure of the party so it can reinforce the party winning machine.