The raging political crisis in Edo State took yet another dramatic turn today following the announcement of the suspension of the state Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Philip Shiabu from the All Progressives Congress for alleged promotion of violence and determination to destroy the party.
Addressing press conference in Abuja, the Chairman of the Party, Colonel David Imuse [Rtd] described Governor Obaseki as a political liability who is working to the goal of destroying the party in the state.
“Obaseki’s desperate bid to suppress all forms of perceived opposition and determination that no credible opposition emerges in the forthcoming primaries has seen him remove elected council officials with impunity. In light of the foregoing, it has become obvious that Mr. Obaseki has become a liability to the All Progressives Congress and we can no longer fold our arms and watch him drag our collective political fortune into the abyss in his desperation to destroy the party,” he said.
Earlier, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu, announced the decision of the party to uphold the decision of the Edo APC to suspend Barrister Anselm Ojezua and approved his removal as Chairman, a move that affirmed Colonel David Imuse’s position and makes his declared suspension of Governor Obaseki and his Deputy valid.
The suspended Anselm Ojezua has been alleged by members of the other faction of the party as being pliable to the governor and bias in the dispensation of his duties as the State Chairman of the party.
Crucially, Anselm Ojezua earned the fury of the party’s national organ when he joined in the plot reportedly orchestrated by Governor Godwin Obaseki to purportedly suspend the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, at his ward in Edo North and the ratification of the decision by the state secretariat.
The immediate consequence of Obaseki’s suspension is that, at present, he is ineligible to purchase candidacy form expressing his interest to seek another term in office on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
It could also force the hands of the governor to make his rumored move to the opposition People’s Democratic Party in the state to emerge as its flagbearer. The departure of PDP’s 2016 candidate Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to the APC will make Obaseki’s path to a ticket in the PDP clearer but contesting on the party’s platform would isolate him from the APC-led Federal Government, an important factor in Nigeria’s elections.
Furthermore, it has been reported that the PDP is requesting the governor to pick a nominated candidate of their choice as his running mate, meaning he may be forced to drop his Deputy Philip Shaibu, an important ally who is unlikely to take the decision lying down.
All eyes are fixed on the governor for his reaction to this development, especially as the state primaries are months away and interested candidates ought to begin the move of lobbying delegates and rallying their supporters in earnest.