APC Chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun explodes, reacts to Tinubu
“Governor Oshiomhole is behind the call by Tinubu to remove me as Chairman. He accuses me of not doing enough for his governorship candidate. And I told him I am not happy with his style of politics. I am not in support of imposition because APC started the campaign against godfatherism. I am from Edo state and I am the national chairman of APC, I don’t like the way Oshiomhole manipulated Godwin Obaseki to emerge as Governor and Philip Shuaibu as Deputy Governor for the party in this election.
Other party leaders are not happy too. He forced these candidates on the party and we have to manage it well otherwise the party would have evaporated after the Edo primaries.
Governor Oshiomhole took his ill-conceived campaign. against me to Tinubu after the Kogi supreme Court ruling in favour of the governor our party brought out against some Tinubu’s candidate. We are in a new democratic order and we won’t allow scallywags and moneybags to hijack our party.
I cannot force Oshiomhole’s candidate on the party and on the people. Ondo is a different case entirely.”
You will recall that Oyegun, and Adams Oshiomhole are not on the same page over who emerges the party’s flag bearer in the forth coming governorship election in the state.
Oyegun took a swipe at Oshiomole recently during a meeting with the APC governorship aspirants for the Edo governorship seat at the party’s headquarters in Abuja, when he insisted that the party does not have an anointed candidate for the 2016 Edo governorship election.
Earlier, Oshiomole had unveiled one of his staunch loyalists, the Chairman of the State Economic Team, Godwin Obaseki, as his successor.
The decision had caused apprehension and division within the party’s structure.
One of the aspirants, Blessing Agbomhere, who described himself as the youngest aspirant in the race, had last month disclosed that it would be a mistake for Oshiomole to pick Obaseki as his preferred successor.
He added that the Comrade Governor would only be testing the waters with his alleged support for Obaseki.
Some of the APC aspirants for the governorship race include; Ilenre Austin Emuan, Don Pedro Obaseki, Oserheimen Osunbor, Kenneth Imasuagbon, Omon-Irabor Casely, Chris Iyare, Chris Ogiemwonyi, Charles Airhiavbere, Ebegue Amadasun and Blessing Agbomhere.
In reaction to the widespread opposition that greeted his alleged preference for Obaseki as his successor, Oshiomole had maintained that he will not remain neutral on who becomes the candidate of the APC, in the 2016 governorship election.
“… I have gone through a lot in the course of governance, let me say clearly that I cannot be neutral in matters affecting my environment. Even people who are not from Edo state will always tell me to guide them so that Edo will not go back to the past, I will never be afraid to take a position and to explain my position on the basis of my conviction..,” he had stated.
Contrary, Oyegun has explained that the party does not have the right to impose any candidate for its planned primary election.
“Once I open my mouth to support any candidate, it hampers my ability to be objective and fair in the process. The minute you begin to tell anybody why don’t you step down, the next question is what is in for me?
“The APC has recorded credible primaries with examples being the presidential primaries and primaries in Kogi and Bayelsa states. Even in the case of Bayelsa state where there were issues, the party cancelled the first primaries and ordered a fresh exercise – all in a bid to achieve credible primaries.
“The party assures of credible primaries for the Edo state governorship when the time comes, and may the best candidate with the right credentials and capacity emerge,” Oyegun said.
Also speaking, Ilenre Austin said: “All aspirants were invited for a meeting with the National leadership of the APC to come and have a chat as far as the campaigns for the Edo State gubernatorial elections are concerned and it was a very fruitful meeting.
“As we know, the political climate in the state (Edo) is getting warmer hence the party felt we had to meet so that we could be reminded of the party manifesto, ideology and the fact that everyone should embrace the rule of fair play and above all, to assure everyone of us that all the aspirants will be given a level playing field.
“Of course there are a lot of insinuations going around that there is an anointed candidate, but today all that has been laid to rest.