Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has asked Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to recuse himself of role in the forthcoming governorship primary in Edo State being an interested party.
The governor who returned his forms to seek second term ticket as Edo State chief executive said the APC National Chairman cannot superintend over the Edo state governorship primary, having declared his preference for certain aspirants as opposed to others.
The Edo state governorship primary has been fixed for June 22, while the election proper is September 19.
The governor who was accompanied to the Secretariat by a handful of supporters said Oshiomhole cannot be a judge in his own case as doing so is contrary to natural justice.
Governor Obaseki was also quick to dismiss claim that he betrayed Oshiomhole, his predecessor in office, declaring that available fact supports the opposite, stating that Oshiomhole was a greater betrayer, having reneged on the promise to uplift Edo state.
Obaseki, said he was instrumental to Oshiomhole’s ascendancy and success as Edo state governor, adding that Oshiomhole benefited much more from him ( Obaseki) than he benefited from the APC national chairman.
“In life everybody get helped, everybody get assisted. The person you talked about, he had no money when he left labour to contest. 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 then 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?”
Despite the misgivings, the Governor said he is still open to peaceful, harmonious resolution of issues in Edo state in the interest of the APC, and gave this as reason for his recent visit to APC National leader, Bola Tinubu and President Mohammadu Buhari.”
“The reason why I went to see our National Leader is that I don’t want the party turn 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 be so weakened and whatever it will take to secure peace, to secure harmony in the party, we are prepared to, I am prepared to make.”
“That is why I joined my colleagues to go and see the leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to assure him that we are all working for the same course, we are all working to build our party.”
“From 26 States, we are now 20. We don’t want to lose anymore state, there is really no reason to. We should all drop our egos and work for our party and the unity of our country.”
Governor Obaseki says he open to any mode of primaries the party recommends provided that it is in consonance with the constitution of the ruling party and will not jeopardize the effort to flatten the curve of the COVID -19 infections in Edo state.
“The Constitution stipulates what mode of primaries 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 our lawful party and we will do things according to the Constitution of our party.”
“So, direct, indirect I’m certain I will win the primaries but we have to respect our constitution and followed our constitution of.
“However, I am using this opportunity to call on Comrade Oshiomhole to recuse himself from the Edo nomination process because he is an interest 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 recluse himself and lets have a free process and let’s reconcile and build our party”.
Obaseki gave a hint of possible objection to the direct primary pointing rising cases of coronavirus in the state.
He said; “From the Epidomological surveys they tell us that the pandemic will spike in the third week of June in Edo. We seen cases rising rapidly. We want to know who is infected and how to stop the spread.
“For me, the safety of Edo people is my primary concern because if the people are not alive you won’t be there to lead them.”
By Tony Ezimako