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Olusegun Bamgbose, National Coordinator, Concerned Advocates for Good Governance, CAGG, has told a former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole, to start packing his luggage to leave Edo State should the incumbent Governor, Godwin Obaseki win the September 19 election.

Bamgbose believes that the governorship election is between Oshiomhole and his former political godson, Obaseki.

He noted that the election will go down in history as the toughest one in the entire history of Edo State considering the big guns and the big wigs involved.

Acknowledging that the former Governor and some bigwigs of the APC will do everything within their power to win the election, the Lagos-based lawyer noted that it would spell doom for Oshiomhole if Ize-Iyamu fails to win.

“This is one election that Oshiomhole won’t want to lose. It’s a do or die affair for him. It’s an election that will either make him or mar him for life,” the senior lawyer.

“His (Oshiomhole) political career is attached to this volatile election. If he ‘loses’, it will mark the end of his political dynasty. Oshiomhole will certainly not take things for granted.

“Tinubu equally will do anything possible for Obaseki to lose to Pastor Ize Iyamu. The Edo election is no doubt a litmus test for Tinubu’s presidential ambition.

“If the APC Governorship Candidate loses, his Presidential ambition will be jeopardized. On the other hand, Obaseki will not for any reason want to lose the election, as incumbent Governor.

“He will be ready to do anything within his political capacity to put Oshiomhole to big shame. The truth of the matter is that the Edo Election is between Obaseki and Oshiomhole.

“However If Ize Iyamu loses to Obaseki, Oshiomhole should get prepared to relocate from Edo State immediately.

“Edo will be hell to him if Ize-Iyamu loses to Obaseki. The die is cast. The battle line is drawn. Who will win is no doubt a one million naira question,” he stated.

Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state, on Thursday said his convoy was attacked at ward 10, Apana, Etsako west local government area of the state.

Adams Oshiomhole, former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is from the ward.

In a statement which Crusoe Osagie, his spokesman, issued on his behalf, Obaseki said the suspected thugs behind the attack were dislodged by a combined team of security personnel and vigilante groups.

The statement said Philip Shaibu, the deputy governor, alighted from his vehicle and chased the attackers.

A female police officer, who was caught recording the footage of the incident, was also said to have been attacked.

Addressing members of PDP and supporters at Apana village square, Obaseki alleged that Oshiomhole had made several attempts to scuttle his re-election.

He said the forthcoming poll will determine who will take charge of the levers of power in Edo politics.

“As we were coming here (Village Square in Apana), you heard what happened. They went to hire thugs and began to shoot to prevent us from coming here. On September 19, 2020, use your permanent voter card (PVC) to ‘pepper them’,” he said.

“Ward 10 is a special ward. This election is special. It will show who is in charge of politics in Edo State. For all my eight years in government, you know what I did for Comrade Oshiomhole. He said it with his mouth. I supported him to be the governor. I raised funds for him. I worked for him and Edo State for eight years without receiving a dime.”

When contacted, Chidi Nwabuzor, police public relations officer in the state, told Reporters he was not aware of the incident.

There is tension in the state ahead of the September 19 election.

Adams Oshiomhole, former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says he made a mistake by supporting Godwin Obaseki to become Edo state governor in 2016.

Speaking on Sunday while addressing members of the ruling party in Benin, the state capital, Oshiomhole said he has come to apologise for his mistakes.

He said he ”sold a bad product” to the state in 2016.

The former national chairman of the party had a running battle with his successor which led to the defection of Obaseki from the APC to the PDP after he was disqualified from the APC primary over a “defective” certificate.

“Obaseki is MoU (Memoranda of Understanding) governor, but Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is a man of God, who will ensure good governance in Edo State from November 12 this year,” Oshiomhole said.

“I have made my honest mistakes. Only God is perfect. I am now 68 years old. I have come to apologise for the mistake of supporting Obaseki in 2016. I am in Edo State to repair my mistakes.

“Obaseki has abused the trust of Edo people. With our permanent voter cards, we shall punish Obaseki on September 19. Ize-Iyamu will not repeat the mistakes of Obaseki. Ize-Iyamu will take Edo State to the next level.

“Obaseki pretended for almost eight years, while he did not believe in what I was doing as the governor.

“In 2007, Ize-Iyamu stepped down for me. In 2012, he was the Director-General of my re-election campaign organisation and we won in all the 18 local government areas of Edo. I will work for the election of Ize-Iyamu.”

Adams Oshiomhole, former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says the evidence used to screen out Godwin Obaseki from the party’s governorship race was provided by leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Obaseki defected from the APC to the PDP after he was disqualified from the APC primary over a “defective” certificate.

Osagie Ize-Iyanmu, who is said to enjoy the backing of Oshiomhole, won the primary election.

Speaking on Thursday at his residence in Benin, the state capital, Oshiomhole said the ruling party didn’t want to make the mistake it made in Bayelsa state in 2019.

“In 2016, PDP took Obaseki to court that he forged certificates. Now, you remember one governor that said there are tax collectors, when something moved, they collected the taxes and the certificates became okay,” he said.

“But let me tell you, members of APC’s screening committee knew that the man who forged documents, even if you vote for him, you know what happened to us in Bayelsa state.

“So, I need to assure you that the decision of the screening committee members to disqualify the sitting governor was based on the evidence provided by PDP leaders in 2016, which they found to be correct and you do not repeat the same mistake twice.

“The only task we have is to go to every unit, every community, every ward, every local government area and remind them of where we stopped and ask them since we left, what new thing has been brought?

“If I failed Godwin Obaseki’s examination, by the grace of God on Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, I will score A1.”

The governorship election is slated for September 19.

Governor Obaseki, governor of Edo state, says Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is afraid of educated people because “he did not go to school”.

Speaking with state house correspondents on Tuesday, Obaseki accused Oshiomhole of high-handedness.

The governor, who has been having a running battle with Oshiomhole, was disqualified from the 2019 APC primary election.

Asked if he would provide a level playing ground for the primary election to hold in the state, Obaseki said: “He (Oshiomhole) has not provided a level playing ground even in the selection process, the disqualification process: what is the basis for disqualifying someone like Chris Ogiemwonyi?

“You are afraid of people who are educated because you didn’t go to school. You are afraid of people who have something to offer because all he knows how to offer is brigandage, crisis.

“So for us, Nigeria has to move forward beyond some of the characters who are currently overseeing our political polity and they are scared. They are scared that when people of substance, when people who are proven, when people who have succeeded in other aspects of life come into politics, they will be history.”

On allegation of inconsistency in his certificate, the governor, who described Oshiomhole as a man” without character and sense of justice”, said the national chairman was just looking for an excuse to carry out his wish.

He alleged that the APC had given Oshiomhole “that sort of authority without checks”, adding that such action would put the ruling party in danger.

“Someone who hasn’t gone to school, who doesn’t have certificate himself, will not know and understand what inconsistencies in certificates are, that’s the starting point,” he said.

“There’s no inconsistency in my certificates. The issue was in 2016, when I contested for gubernatorial election, I could not find the originals of my certificates because I hadn’t required them for more than two decades. So I deposed to an affidavit that I couldn’t find the originals. Subsequently, I found all the original copies of all my certificates and they are with me. So I don’t understand what’s inconsistent about that.

“Maybe the inconsistency in the Youths Corps certificate where he said my surname was missing an ‘i’ at the end, but if you look at that it was like a cursive, it was written in a cursive manner. So if that’s inconsistency for him, then it’s really sad that people of that quality are leading the Nigeria’s ruling party.

“For him it was just to look for an excuse to take whatever decision he wants to take and it’s really sad that the party structure today gives him that sort of authority without checks, that is dangerous for any system or any institution. When you give authority and responsibility to people who don’t have character, people who do not have finesse, a sense of justice, then that institution is imperiled.”

The governor expressed confidence that he would win the September 19 governorship election, saying he has the backing of the people.

“I’m sure if you’ve scanned the environment, you’ve scanned the media, you’ve scanned social media, the reaction from people across the world, particularly Edos at home and in the Diaspora, has for me has been unbelievable. They’ve said to me, wherever you go, we go. “

 

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Philip Shaibu, deputy governor of Edo, has accused Adams Oshiomhole, chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), of trying to take control of the state, ahead of the party’s governorship primary.

The state chapter of the APC had opted for indirect primary, but a faction of the party loyal to Oshiomhole pushed for direct primary.

The national working committee (NWC) of the APC headed by Oshiomhole subsequently adopted direct primary.

Although there are six aspirants seeking the APC ticket for the September election, the race is between Godwin Obaseki, governor of the state, and Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who is believed to enjoy the backing of Oshiomhole.

Obaseki and Oshiomhole are not in good terms and this led to factions within the party.

In a statement which Benjamin Atu, his media aide, issued on his behalf, Shaibu said unlike Oshiomhole, Uche Secondus, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), does not control PDP states.

“PDP has a national chairman for instance, the national chairman of PDP doesn’t usurp the sovereignty of the PDP states,” he said.

“The sovereignty of the state can’t be submerged at this critical juncture of our lives. The indirect primary will make it more convenient for INEC to supervise and will be more transparent.

“The APC national chairman is insisting on direct primary because the result of the yet to be conducted direct primary election is already written by him, just waiting to be announced.

“The state is sovereign but not enjoying its sovereignty because some few people are determined to ruin the State by hand twisting the government and Governor as a stooge. What the APC national chairman is doing is trying to usurp the powers of the state governor by thinking and making decisions for the government of Edo state.

“John Oyegun was the former governor of Edo state and he didn’t usurp Oshiomhole’s power in the name of ex-Governor Oshiomhole is not the first ex-Governor in Nigeria. He should give the people and government of Edo state peace to enable them reason collectively together.

“Obaseki is currently the governor of Edo state and his office must be respected because we can only have one governor at a time. He has spoken and there is no going back on indirect primary. Direct primary will heighten COVID-19 transmission and infection at the community stage and the state is not ready for such emergency.“

Shaibu added, however, that no matter the mode of the primary, Obaseki would secure his second term ticket in the primary scheduled for June 22.

 

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Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo, says Adams Oshiomhole, his predecessor, had no money when he contested the governorship election in 2007.

Oshiomhole, a former president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), who ran under the then Action Congress (AC) lost to Oserheimen Osunbor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

But he challenged the outcome of the election in court and was declared winner one year later.

Speaking with reporters after submitting his nomination and expression of interest forms for the 2020 governorship election to Emma Ibediro, APC national organising secretary, on Wednesday, Obaseki said it is wrong for people to say he betrayed Oshiomhole.

The governor said he not only helped Oshiomhole into power but also made sacrifices to ensure he emerged national chairman of the ruling party.

“In life, everybody gets helped, everybody gets assisted. The person you talked about (Oshiomhole), he had no money when he left labour to contest. We knew what we did to make him Governor,” he said.

“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.

“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.”

Obaseki, who has been having a running battle with Oshiomhole, warned the APC national chairman to steer clear of the Edo governorship primary election.

The governor said Oshiomhole is “an interested party” and should not be involved in the primary election processes so as to ensure a free election and a chance to reconcile the party.

“I am using this opportunity to call on Comrade Oshiomhole to recuse himself from the Edo nomination process because he is an interested party,” Obaseki said.

“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 recuse himself and let us have a free process and let us reconcile and build our party.

“I believe that ours is a lawful party and we will do things according to the Constitution of our party. So, direct or indirect, I am certain I will win the primaries but we have to respect our constitution and follow our constitution.”

He added that a single term as governor is not enough for him but that an additional four years would afford him the opportunity to consolidate on his achievements.

“Three years is not enough, four years is not enough to crystalize all these reforms. So, another four years will give me that opportunity to consolidate on what we have done and that is the promise of APC. We are a reformist party, we are a progressive party,” he said.

“That is why I am here today to indicate my interest and my desire to run for another term as governor of Edo so that I can continue in the service of my people.”

On June 22, 2020, Obaseki will be up against Osagie Ize-Iyamu, his PDP rival in 2016, for the governorship ticket of the APC.

Ize-Iyamu is believed to enjoy the support of Oshiomhole.

Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), informed INEC that the party had agreed to choose its governorship candidate for the Edo election through direct primary, even before the national working committee of the party took the decision.

The NWC, headed by Oshiomhole, reached the decision on May 22 but Oshiomhole had written to Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, three days earlier.

In the letter dated May 19, and seen by Reporters, Oshiomhole said the party had agreed that direct primary would be conducted in 192 wards.

“I convey to you my compliments and wish to respectfully inform you that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has decided to conduct direct primary for the Edo state governorship election on Monday, 22 of June. 2020,” the letter read.

“To this end we have put in place modalities to ensure strict compliance with the COVID-19 prevention guidelines as announced by the COVID-19 presidential task force (PTF) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

“Therefore, direct primaries will be conducted in one hundred and ninety two wards (192).

“We accordingly invite you as observers of the primaries with full compliance with the All Progressives Congress constitution and the electoral act.”

In a direct primary election, all card-carrying members of the party from local government areas of the state will be eligible to vote for the candidate of their choice but indirect primary involves selected delegates.

Many governors prefer indirect primary as they can easily sway the delegates to their side.

Although six aspirants have indicated interest in the primary election, the race is between Godwin Obaseki, the governor, and Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who is believed to have the backing of Oshiomhole.

Obaseki has been at loggerheads with Oshiomhole, and this has divided the party in the state.

Oshiomhole’s faction had picked Osagie Ize-Iyamu who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the heat of the crisis between Obaseki and the APC national chairman.

 

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The appeal court has suspended hearing of an appeal by Adams Oshiomhole against the judgment of a federal capital territory (FCT) high court suspending him as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The court had scheduled Monday to hear the matter, but a three-man panel of justices rose at a session today to say a new panel would be constituted to hear the appeal.

The APC scheduled its national executive council (NEC) meeting for Tuesday.

Oshiomhole, his supporters and team of lawyers arrived at the court before 9 am awaiting the panel.

Stephen Adah, who led the panel to preside over another case, said another panel would be constituted to hear Oshiomhole’s appeal.

But a clerk of the court later announced that the panel would not hear the appeal of the national chairman on Monday, and that a new date would be communicated to the parties in the matter.

Danlami Senchi, a judge of the federal capital territory (FCT) high court in Abuja on March 4, ordered the suspension of Oshiomhole as national chairman pending the determination of a suit filed by one Oluwale Afolabi.

Senchi said it was wrong of the APC to have kept Oshiomhole as chairman after he was suspended by the Edo state chapter of the party.

But Oshimhole approached the court of appeal seeking a stay of execution of the judgement.

A court of appeal sitting in Abuja has restrained the All Progressive Congress (APC) from executing the judgement of a federal capital territory high court which ordered the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as national chairman of the ruling party.

On March 4, Danlami Senchi, a judge of the federal capital territory (FCT) high court in Abuja, had ordered the suspension of Oshiomhole pending the determination of a suit filed by one Oluwale Afolabi.

Afolabi had challenged the continuous stay of Oshiomhole in office despite his suspension by the Edo chapter of the APC.

But on Monday, Abubakar Yahaya, chairman of the three man panel of judges, ordered a stay of execution pending the hearing of an application filed by Oshiomhole.

Oshiomhole, in his appeal, asked the court to set aside the suspension order.

At the resumed session, Wole Olanipekun, counsel to Oshiomhole, prayed the court to grant a motion ex parte staying the order of the lower court.

He said “time is of essence; the matter should not be left until tomorrow because between now and tomorrow is like eternity.”