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Edo 2020: Drop your second term bid, Oshiomhole tells Obaseki

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Oshiomhole, Obaseki

-Obaseki fires back ‘I will not step down’

-As Oshiomhole, other party leaders allegedly back ex-deputy gov, Odubu

 

Is there a conspiracy to stop the second term bid of Edo State Governor, Godwin ObasekiThis poser seems to be resolved in the affirmative amid frenetic political developments in the state.

The quest of Godwin Obaseki to win a second term as governor of Edo State now looks more daunting than ever, following the emergence of evidence than Adams Oshiomhole, former governor of the state and national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) alongside some party leaders in the state, have endorsed Pius Odubu, former deputy governor in the last administration.

Already, leaders of Edo State chapter of the APC are divided along camps led by Governor Obaseki and Comrade Oshiomhole.

Even though Obaseki and his predecessor have kept mute over the rumoured cold war between them, their supporters ahead of the 2020 battle for the governorship ticket continue to sound the political battle cry, fueling strong speculation that Oshiomhole may have severed ties with his successor. It was gathered that since it became clear that some top Abuja-based Edo APC leaders are plotting to stop Obaseki from picking the party’s ticket, he has been building political structures across the state to checkmate his opponents within the party.

Oshiomhole, The Witness learnt is said to be supporting his former deputy, Pius Odubu, who he believes is the most suitable replacement while former federal lawmakers, Hon Johnson Oghuma and Hon Gani Audu, are also said to be penciled down by Oshiomhole to replace Obaseki’s deputy governor, Comrade Phillip Shaibu.

Other names touted to be eyeing the seat of the incumbent governor are former minister of state for works, Engineer Chris Ogiemwonyi, Retired General Charles Arhiavbere and Honourable Osarodion Ogie, who is the current secretary to the Edo State government.

 

Obaseki’s alleged ‘sins’ against Oshiomhole

Recall Obaseki won the heart of his former boss, Comrade Oshiomhole who fought his battle to become the governorship candidate of the APC in 2016 and subsequently, the governor.

After Obaseki emerged governor, the relationship between him and Oshiomhole was cordial until very recently when a cold war ensued between them.

Though Governor Obaseki has always maintained that he has no problems with the ex-governor, feelers from the state prove the contrary.

What has now become a war, the magazine learned, started during the APC primaries, when the former helmsman wanted to impose his candidates for the National and State Assembly elections on Governor Obaseki, a situation the governor vehemently opposed.

Though Comrade Oshiomhole succeeded in imposing some candidates on the party, Governor Obaseki refused to support the candidates as a result of this, most APC candidates lost at the National Assembly election.

Obaseki on taking over the mantle of leadership in 2016 ruffled political feathers in the state when he boldly banned revenue contracts hitherto given to some APC leaders and disbanded community development associations (CDA) engaged in illegal sales and allocation of lands.

This major activity had been ‘goldmine’ of sort to some party leaders. The decision was roundly applauded by majority of Edo people but perceived in political circles as a show of ingratitude, especially from the camp of those who felt they supported his emergence.

A source said Obaseki had complained to close associates that he is choking under the overbearing attitude of his predecessor and that he wants to be his own man. It was learnt that Obaseki was expected to take care of some APC political boys loyal to the former governor, but that they were the first he got rid of the moment he was sworn in. 

Besides, some political leaders were said to have complained bitterly of the lack of patronage from the governor and vowed to ensure that Obaseki is denied second term ticket come 2020. They were said to be unhappy with his leadership style. The governor was also accused of empowering his Lagos-based cronies with juicy contracts against politicians who had worked and supported his emergence. They had threatened to work against the governor during his re-election.

Oshiomhole is not also happy the governor dumped all the associates and supporters as soon as he took power, sources divulgedThe governor has simply refused to patronize them as usual rather he populates his kitchen cabinet with his own people.

It was gathered that Governor Obaseki has continuously told Comrade Oshiomhole’s supporters it would not be business as usual as “taxpayers’ money cannot be dispensed for political patronage,” another source said.

The source said, “We are taking development to those in the grassroots, we will not share money like the governments did in the past.”

Now that the 2020 governorship election is around the corner, the aggrieved party men and women said they are poised to have their own pound of flesh on the governor.

They have resolved among themselves that they will stop Governor Obaseki from securing a second term in office.

One of them told our correspondent that “the APC leaders have commenced a search for a good replacement of the governor in 2020.

“We have been able to stabilize the party because majority of our memberare aware that the governor will not be granted second tenure. This is the reason some of our members and leaders have continued to remain calm and steadfast in the party.

We have never had it so bad. Governor Obaseki turned his back on us as soon as he became governor, now we are prepared to pay him back in his own coin by making sure he’s not returned as the party’s candidate for next year’s election.”

But some angry party leaders told this newspaper that the governor can still redeem the situation. They insist that they are prepared to work with him if he’s ready to carry everybody along.

“Governor Obaseki’s second term bid rests squarely in his hands, if he is serious let him redeem the situation now before it is too late,” the APC leader who pleaded anonymity said.

Another factor insiders said also working against Obaseki is the governor’s alleged romance with the speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Kabiru Adjoto.

Knowing the fragile nature of the friendship between the governor and his predecessor, sources divulged that the speaker employed deceit to use Obaseki to clean his dirty mess.

“Adjoto told the governor that Oshiomhole brought money to the house with the intent of impeaching him (the governor). He said the plan was to bring in the impeached deputy speaker, Victor Edoror, so that the governor can easily be impeached.

The governor bought into his plan to remove Edoror and others he thought were threats to him,” a source privy to the event told our correspondent.

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POLITICS

Ex-Delta Gov. Uduaghan reacts to Appeal Court judgement, Says ‘home enemies are the most dangerous’

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The appellate court in a judgement on Monday quashed the decision of the Delta State Election Petitions Tribunal which nullified the election of Manager as the senator representing the area.

The tribunal had nullified the Delta South election and declared that a fresh election be held in the district within 90 days of the judgement in a petition filed by former Governor Uduaghan that the election was marred by irregularities.

Uduaghan had told the tribunal that the exercise was not marred by irregularities but the election did not also complied with the electoral guidelines.

But in a unanimous decision by the Justice A Jauro-led appeal panel on Monday upturned the decision of the tribunal and affirmed that Senator Manager of the PDP won the election.

However, Uduaghan, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election, took to his Facebook to thank everyone who supported his senatorial ambition all through the electioneering period to the appeal court.

According to him, in every battle, “home enemies are the most dangerous.”

The Itsekiri-born medical doctor, however, congratulated Senator Manager on the appeal judgement upholding his election.

“Thanks to ALL who were in the trenches with me. Home enemies are the most dangerous in any struggle!Congrats Sen J. E. Manager”, Uduaghan said in the post.

 

READ FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

PRESS RELEASE

THE JOURNEY WAS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE OUTCOME

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing ~Vince Lombardi

It is no longer news that the outcome of today’s Appeal Court judgement did not go in my favour as the judgement of the Election Petitions Tribunal in Asaba was set aside by the Appellate Court sitting in Benin City.

I want to first appreciate everyone who were in the trenches with me throughout this journey. Please do not despair. There is no winning or losing, but rather the value is in the experience of imagining yourself as a character in whatever genre you’re involved in, whether it is politics or any other endeavor. I cherish the input of everyone -family, friends, political party, supporters and the good people of Delta South Senatorial District.

I am happy that throughout the elections and the tribunals, our peaceful process as a Senatorial District was tested. Recall I withdrew from the race in 2014 as a result of the threat to peace. In 2019 however, an itsekiri man could campaign freely in Ijaw area and an Ijaw man could campaign freely in itsekiri area. Itsekiris voted for Ijaws, and Ijaws voted for Itsekiris. There was no case of violence anywhere. For me this is a big victory for peace in our Senatorial District.

The loss at the Appeal Court today, was as a result of a pre-election matter that the court entertained. This was a matter that was not addressed at the lower tribunal, which ought to be the first place that any prayer whatsoever relating to election matters should have been introduced. Well, the judiciary has had their say and I have accepted the outcome in good faith.

I must put it on record that; for me, this was a period of experiencing the “enemy within ” at another level.

I have formally called my brother, Sen James Manager to congratulate him.

My brother, Sen James E. Manager, congratulations once more on your victory. I wish you well as you represent our people at the hollowed Chamber again.

The contest is over now, it is in the past. I urge my supporters to put this behind them and focus on the future which holds a lot in store for all of us.

God bless you!
God bless Delta South!!
God bless Nigeria!!!

Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, CON.
Immediate Past Governor of Delta State.

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POLITICS

Oshiomhole to Obaseki: Face governance, stop blackmailing me

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THE battle rages on between All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole and Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Oshiomhole on Tuesday urged Obaseki to focus on delivery of good governance to the people rather than blackmailing his personality.

But the governor insisted that the party chairman should call his men to order and insisted that the party’s structure in the state is in his hands and that his second term is guaranteed.

Oshiomhole gave the advice in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Simon Ebegbulem, in Abuja on Tuesday.

The National Chairman of the ruling party insisted that there was a siege to his residence in Benin on October 12, but Obaseki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said Oshiomhole was never attacked in the state.

“We have no knowledge of alleged attack on the residence of the APC National Chairman based on a report we received from the State Commissioner of Police, DanMallam Muhammed,” Obaseki said.

He said the former governor did not inform his office, Commissioner of Police or State Director of the Department of State Service (DSS) for security while on visit to the state.

According to him, if our party’s national chairman informed the authorities while visiting the state, there would be less acrimony.

He urged Oshiomhole, government functionaries and political office holders to observe protocols while visiting the state.

Oshiomhole said: “We have it on good authority that the governor (Obaseki) intends to create disaffection and crisis in the state, APC and probably dump the party for another party.

“That is why; he has embarked on this brigandage which Edo people will resist. So, he should stop blackmailing me and face governance which is why Edo people voted him into power.

“We are even more scared now that the governor is making every effort to coerce me into giving him details of my movement in Edo State. Who knows what he is plotting again. But every evil plot against me will fail.”

He alleged that last Saturday’s siege to his residence was a good example.

“Before that incident, state government-sponsored thugs have been harassing, intimidating APC members across the 18 local government areas of the state because APC leaders refused to adopt his second term aspiration.

“People are being sacked from their jobs everyday in the state,” he said.

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POLITICS

Nigeria is in wrong hands, says PDP

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday said President Muhammadu Buhari’s Independence Day broadcast further confirmed that the country is in the wrong hands.

It accused the President of failing to “forcefully” address the key issues of freedom, social justice, constitutional order, separation of powers, rule of law, human rights, credible elections, national cohesion, accountability and transparency in government.

PDP spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan said Buhari ignored the  fundamentals of an independent state because his administration violated them all.

PDP said: “He had no clear-cut and operable blueprint to revamp our economy, which his administration wrecked in a period of four years, resulting in so much hardship and despondency that Nigerians now resort to suicide and slavery abroad as options.

“Our party notes that this address further exposes the fact that the Buhari Presidency is not interested in nation building; that it is completely disconnected from the people and remains insensitive to the plights of Nigerians.”

According to the PDP, under the Buhari Presidency, the nation has experienced the worst form of division, deprivation, human right abuse and constitutional violations.

PDP said: “The administration has remained lacking in the required capacity and boldness to forcefully engage other world leaders on critical issues.

“The dearth in foreign direct investments and the inhuman treatments being meted out on our citizens in countries where we were once held in very high esteem, are some of the injuries our nation is suffering under the Buhari administration.”

The party said while other leaders motivate their citizens on Independence Day, President Buhari presented uninspiring claims, propaganda and empty promises, describing the development as “depressing”.

The PDP, however, urged Nigerians not to despair but keep hope alive.

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