*As Edo APC faction suspends Obaseki, others
By Ese Awhotu and Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The Forum for the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors yesterday charged the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, to convene a National Executive Council meeting or resign.
This is just as the Edo chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday suspended Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Philip Shaibu over alleged anti-party activities.
The governors gave the charge through the Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum, Salihu Lukman, in a statement made available to journalists yesterday in Abuja.
The governors expressed fears that the failure of the party chairman to convene a National Executive Council meeting was responsible for the numerous challenges facing the party.
The APC governors unequivocally stated that, “ It is either Oshiomhole respect the provision of the party constitution and convene superior organ meeting to deliberate on all our challenges, or he should just accept his inability to manage the party and simply resign.”
The statement reads : “In the current circumstance, nothing short of a NEC or National Caucus meeting of the party can resolve all our increasing organisational challenges as a party.
“It is either Oshiomhole respect the provision of the party constitution and convene superior organ meeting to deliberate on all our challenges, or he should just accept his inability to manage the party and simply resign.”
The governors challenged the national leaders to rise to the challenge facing the party and take all necessary measures to convene superior organ meetings to begin to resolve all challenges as a party, saying “the current public disgrace must end!”
It noted that, the call was heightened by the information coming from Edo State indicating that members of the State Executive Council of APC had passed a vote of no confidence on Oshiomhole.
“Instead of focusing on working to win elections, we are busy undermining ourselves. All these are ominous signs that we are about to re-enact the Zamfara, Rivers, Bauchi and Adamawa experiences in Bayelsa. It is Bayelsa today, Anambra, Edo, and Ondo are being setup for similar experiences. Somehow, unfortunately, the NEC of the party, which is the organ vested with the statutory responsibility of responding to all these challenges appears to be suspended.
“The last time it met was August 2018. In its place, the National Working Committee, which is an administrative organ with the responsibility of implementing decisions of NEC and other higher organs seems to have usurped the powers of NEC,” the statement said.
On Obaseki’s suspension, stakeholders in the party in the Edo State took the decision at a meeting in Benin City where the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Osarodion Ogie and the State Chairman of the party, Anselm Ojezua were suspended.
Spokesman of the group, former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Patrick Ikhariale, accused Obaseki of striking a deal with the rival People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to run on the party’s platform in the 2020 governorship election.
Ikhariale spoke at the residence of PDP candidate in the 2012 governorship election, Major-Gen. Charles Arhiavbere (rtd).
He also accused Ojezua of being a polarizing figure in the APC who has only succeeded in causing disaffection among the ranks of the ruling party.
However, the Special Adviser to Governor Obaseki on Media and Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie insisted that the meeting was illegal as it was not held at the party secretariat but in a private residence.
Two former House of Representatives members, Patrick Obahiagbon, human rights activist, to Abdul Oroh, Samson Osagie and many former Council chairmen attended the meeting.