Ahead of the 2020 governorship election in Edo, the battle for the soul and control of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, has begun, with a group in the party, Edo Peoples Movement, declaring that it will not support the second term bid of Governor Godwin Obaseki.
In a swift reaction, an APC chieftain, the Egure Oshiomoshiofu of Igarra, Chief Adewole Mayaki, told journalists in Benin, yesterday, that the plot by some members, against the second term bid of the governor, was an exercise in futility and therefore, bound to fail.
In a communique after its meeting in Benin City, at the weekend, the EPM warned that the national leadership of the APC may be throwing the state to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) if their warning is ignored.
“We are committed to rescuing the APC in Edo state, due to the monumental loss it suffered in the last presidential and National Assembly elections; as a result of the actions of governor Godwin Obaseki towards the party and its members.
“As the next governorship election in Edo state approaches, we are resolved to working and delivering any candidate who is adequately equipped to strike a balance between delivering on good governance for the people and promoting the party platform that formed the government. Governor Godwin Obaseki certainly does not fit into this condition.
“We urge the national leadership of our party, the APC, to support these efforts else, we stand the risk of losing hold on the government of Edo state to the other political parties with whom the governor is already empowering clandestinely. We condemn, in the strongest terms, the resort to intimidation and harassment of loyal party members by the governor and his aides, on account of their dissent with the style of governance and non-fulfillment of promises made to many local government areas.
The group demanded “the immediate opening of the five star Central Hospital in Benin City, built by the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole administration and resuscitation/opening of the Tayo Akpata University, Ekiadolor, and College of Agriculture, Iguorhiakhi, for the use and benefit of Edo citizens. “We urge the state and national leadership of the APC should note and enforce stringent measures against the governor, whose anti-party posture has become a matter of public knowledge,” they added.
Regardless, the Edo North party leader, in his reaction to the EPM meeting, listed Obaseki’s achievements to include massive road construction/rehabilitation, school renovation, Edo Hub, Edo Industrial Park and massive investment in agriculture.
He described those campaigning against Obaseki’s return bid as ‘hungry people and sycophants who do not mean well for the well-being of the generality of the people of the state.
“Obaseki is performing excellently well. He has done well for the generality of Edo people. We are happy our son was appointed as the Chief of staff which is a plus to us. He has created employment and empowerment for our people.
“All Akoko-Edo and Edo North will vote massively for Obaseki’s second term. Obaseki is our son and we should give him a second term to complete his second term.
“Obaseki is more interested in giving dividends of democracy to the ordinary people…” Mayaki said.