31 Days To Go! Obaseki, Akeredolu’s Re-election War Re-Opens Oyegun, Oshiomhole’s Acrimony

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…As Oshiomhole’s Loyalists Blast Oyegun, Accuse Him of Acting As  Obaseki’s  Footman, Domestic Worker…Promoting Personal Interest

A community of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State  loyal to the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has berated Chief John Oyegun over his reported public display of support for Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his Ondo state counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu who are both seeking re-election.

Chief Oyegun, the immediate past National Chairman of the APC had on Thursday issued a statement on Obaseki and Akeredolu, urging the APC as a party to give automatic tickets to the duo as a remedy for reconciling warring APC factions in the two states with gubernatorial elections slated for September and October respectively later this year.

“Performed creditably should be returned unless they do not do wish,” Oyegun said in a statement. It is of critical importance that the primary be seen even by a blind man, to be free and fair otherwise there would be political consequences,” he said.

The APC Chieftain added that the party’s governorship primary “will show Nigerians and indeed the world whether APC is a party of truth, change and progress, driven by the principles of fairness, social justice and equity, or it has become a party that believes and promotes business as usual!”

But that statement canvassing support for Obaseki did not sit well with Oshiomhole’s Edo APC’s coterie of followers who accused Oyegun of having no electoral value, having consistently failed in his own  polling unit, his ward in all elections in the state and now merely acting as Obaseki’s hireling or mouthpiece.

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According to the pro-Oshiomhole community of followers there was never a time an automatic ticket was promised either of the Governors, stating that Oyegun’s utterance has portrayed “him as a mouthpiece or hireling of Godwin Obaseki.”

The pro-Oshiomhole’s alliance in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Chris Azebamwan, said it was evident the Edo APC primaries will be free and fair, adding that the former Chairman should have informed the world those he claimed to be working against the interest of the party. He said there was no such meeting where automatic ticket was promised to the Governors.

He said if such a meeting took place and decision arrived at, there would have been no need to set up the National Reconciliation Committee headed by Chief Bisi Akande.

According to him: “We are constrained to respond to statements credited to Chief John Odigie-Oyegun at page 8 of The Nation newspaper of today, 21st May 2020 and his full-page advert on the same subject at page 10.

“It is not in our character, upbringing or culture to take an elder to task. Especially an elder with the towering stature and credentials of Pa John Odigie-Oyegun who retired as a Federal Super-Permanent Secretary, has been a State Governor and served National Chairman of a major political party. He celebrated his 80th birthday recently, and we wish him many more years of service to the nation.

“Against this background, one is at loss to understand why Chief Odigie-Oyegun would make utterances that portray him as a mouthpiece or hireling of Godwin Obaseki. That the forthcoming primaries in Edo State would be credible is not in doubt.

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“It is neither desirable, nor in the interest of anyone to compromise the process, and in so doing, give room for the Courts to intervene and upturn the results. The leadership of APC is determined to conduct credible primaries. In addition, one would have expected Chief Odigie-Oyegun to name or identify those he claims are contriving a crisis in Edo State.

“The more worrisome part of Pa Odigie-Oyegun’s outburst is his claim that as part of the reconciliation process, an automatic ticket was promised to Godwin Obaseki. To the best of my knowledge, Chief Odigie-Oyegun was not at the meeting where reconciliation was discussed. He is no longer a principal officer of the APC, and is in no position therefore, to lay claims to the inner workings of the party.

“One wonders why the National Reconciliation Committee headed by Chief Bisi Akande would have needed to be set up, if positions had been taken on crucial issues like the ticket for Edo State governorship elections.

“We operate a democratic dispensation and Pa Odigie-Oyegun should allow the process throw up the best man for the job instead of attempting to throw a spanner in the works by promoting his personal opinions and the desperate ambitions of Godwin Obaseki as decisions or resolutions of our party leadership.

“He is an elder statesmen and should not allow himself to be dragged into the fray. That would be a tragic fall from the high pedestal to which we are accustomed to place him.”

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'Dotun Akintomide's journalism works intersect business, environment, politics and developmental issues. Among a number of local and international publications, his work has appeared in the New York Times. He's a winner of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Award. Currently, the Online Editor at The New Diplomat, Akintomide has produced reports that uniquely spoke to Nigeria's experience on Climate Change issues. When Akintomide is not writing, volunteering or working on a media project, you can find him seeing beautiful sites like the sandy beaches that bedecked the Lagos coastline.

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