The published statement by one Coalition of Conerned Members of APC Edo state, an emergency group in The Nation Newspapers Friday, May 10, 2019, with obviously no real presence nor face, accusing the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole of political bias in the administration of party affairs in Edo state is illogical, baseless and represents an affront on the evident truth, although it is rich in comical value.

This hurriedly assembled nature of the this faceless group manifested in its shoddy statement, filled with many inconsistencies and ill-thought propositions.

To highlight a few, this group claimed that the victory of the Edo APC at the state assembly elections was due to the acceptance of Obaseki and the desire of the people to give him a rubber stamp legislature. If this were true, then it runs contrary to the subsequent claim that Adams Oshiomhole manipulated the process by imposing candidates against the will of the people and Obaseki. For the people, who have supposedly declared complete loyalty to Obaseki, would have rejected them. It is impossible to credit Obaseki for the eventual outcome and in the same breath, divorce him from the process leading to the same outcome. If Oshiomhole was responsible for the candidates fielded, and they won so convincingly, then maybe his choice reflects that of the people and majority of the party.

The apparent thing here, and the source of pain and sleeplessness to these unknown concerned members is that party members, across the length and breadth of the state, are beginning to realize that to secure electoral victory, they must distance themselves from the failure of Obaseki who is on the verge of committing political suicide. This awakening came with the failure of the party during the Presidential and National Assembly elections, even though the Governor, who is supposedly popular, immersed himself totally in the process and put his own political fate on the line. So daunting was the defeat and the emotional trauma that followed, Godwin Obaseki required a vacation away from the state as a coping mechanism.

It is this realization and consequent action, especially by the grassroots leadership, that is upsetting Obaseki and his henchmen. With no one else to blame, they have conveniently laid the blame at the feet of Oshiomhole who at the time was busy with national assignments.

Furthermore, all the claims of anti-democratic practices by Oshiomhole seem to be premised on the fact that the National Chairman may not be blessing the second term ambition of Godwin Obaseki. This point shows clearly that those masquerading as “concerned members” are merely just underlings of Obaseki with growing frustration at the looming rejection of their candidate by the party and the public. They may need a crash course on what truly democracy is. For to them, anything outside support for Obaseki is anti-democratic. This is an aberration. Democracy is founded on one golden rule: the supremacy of the majority. It is the same way Oshiomhole, from the pool of multiple aspirants, chose to back Obaseki in 2016, that even now makes him entitled to a choice and a political opinion as a party man and stakeholder of the state. If he is convinced that Obaseki, a man he brought from nothingness to political prominence, has failed to continue on the development path he instituted, he reserves the right to offer his political support to whoever he deems fit. If by way or persuasion or lobbying, the majority accepts his position, just like they did in 2016, then Obaseki has no choice but to bow to this as others, such as Gen. Charles Airhavbere, Pius Odubu, Engr. Ogiemwonyi among others did in the same 2016. These are clear party politics and only those poorly equipped and without records to show run from this to seek intervention from above.

Oshiomhole has done nothing that deviates from the norm. On the other hand, it is Obaseki and his band of mini-terrorists who have displayed intolerance and near tyranny. This is seen in the shoddy suspension of Gen. Charles Arhiavbere (rtd) who everyone knows is preparing to challenge Obaseki for the party ticket. There is an attempt, endorsed by the Governor, to purge the party of divergent views and institute a sycophantic worship of Obaseki despite his unpopularity and undisputed failure. This is what is undemocratic. If the concerned members are truly convinced that Godwin Obaseki has done well, both to the people of Edo state and his party men, then they shouldnt seek to silence opposition through force or expulsion, but should instead test their popularity by submitting to a popularity contest. This was how it was done in 2016, why are they trying to reinvent the wheel?

Finally, Obaseki must make his mind on the position to take in his baseless and veiled assault on party officials. While his underlings continue to throw tantrums like unfed children in the media, the Secratary to the state government, Osarodion Ogie, released a statement claiming that the relationship between the Governor and his predecessor remains strong, while warning “detractors” to desist from spreading fake news. Well, fake news and false alarm is what these convenient “concerned members”, who are quite unconcerned about the failure and intolerance of Obaseki, are spreading.

Adams Oshiomhole isnt one to run from a fight. He fought powerful establishments and vested interests to redeem his mandate and free Edo from the clutches of vipers and suckers – who Obaseki is now openly flirting with in a desperate bid to win reelection having failed the people. This attempt to railroad, or embarrass, the National Chairman into adopting a candidate is dead on arrival. He was first Adams Oshiomhole of Edo, before becoming the National Chairman of the APC. While his position as the leader of the party demands of him to institute a free and fair process devoid of personal bias, an ideal he has displayed to the chagrin of those seeking to exploit their closeness to him for personal gain, he reserves the right, as an individual and political leader, to a private choice in a political contest. After all, when all is said and done, come 2020, the Governor will join the rest of Edo citizens to queue at the ballot and place his thumb against a party away from prying eyes of the public.

Godwin Obaseki should look in the mirror and call his stooges, moonlighting as party men and concerned members, to order. This macabre dance of shame must stop.

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