BENIN—AGGRIEVED All Progressives Party, APC, leaders in Edo State, yesterday, gave Governor Adams Oshiomhole a seven-day ultimatum to cancel what they described as fraudulent membership registration exercise and ward and local governments congresses, or face their wrath.
The party leaders, at a meeting in Benin, also insisted on the 14-day ultimatum earlier given to the governor by the Estako Forum to cancel the party membership registration exercise and the outcome of the congresses, or they will be forced to defect to rival political parties.
Present at the meeting were Pastor Osagie Ize–Iyamu, Mr. Sunny Uyigue, Alhaji Usman Shagadi, Mr. Abubakar Momoh, who is a member of the House of Representatives, some members of the Edo State House of Assembly from Edo South, Mr Omon Ezomon, Chief Amos Osunbor, Mrs. Evelyn Omokhodion, Nosa Adams, and others.
Meanwhile, the interim leadership of the party in the state, has described the ultimatum given to the governor as based on false claims.
State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr. Godwin Erhahon, in his reaction to the deluge of accusations levelled against the governor by the aggrieved leaders, said: “We challenge Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to speak as a man of God that he claims to be. While they are accusing the governor of manipulation and hijack of the party, the truth is that it is the Ize-Iyamu group that wants the governor to manipulate for them by stopping any other person, particularly the deputy governor, from aspiring to the governorship seat in 2016.”
The political leaders, in a statement read at the end of their meeting in Benin by the former state Chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, Prince Tony Omoaghe, called on the governor to relinquish control and monopoly of the party in order to pave way for an inclusive political system which respects the sanctity of internal democracy devoid of deliberately sponsored rancour and fractionalisation within the party and recognises the worth of all party faithful across the state.
They called on the governor to tender an immediate unreserved apology to the leadership of the party and in particular, former Governor John Odigie-Oyegun, for insults metted out to them by him (Oshiomhole) at several party fora.
They accused Governor Oshiomhole of taking deliberate steps to cripple the party in the state for reasons best known to him, saying: “He has encouraged division and fractionalisation in all parts of the state, and ensured the marginalization of party faithful, who have refused to join his faction of the party. He single handedly picked the current state interim Executive Committee of the party and has given them a matching order to do his bidding, much to the dismay of party faithful.
“The governor has marginalized most members of the legacy parties, which came together to form the APC, especially those from the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, in total disregard of the directive of the national body.
“The governor has blurred the lines between government and the party structures by using the machineries and functionaries of government to hijack the party, all to serve very selfish political interests,” they said.
Insisting that the conduct of the recent registration of party members was a failure, the leaders said that many prospective members were denied registration as materials were hoarded and many party members were turned back for one unfounded reason or another.
“The situation was so embarrassing that while people complained of denial of registration due to non-availability of materials, the governor still had enough registration materials to return to the national body.”
Meanwhile, Erhahon, continuing with his defence of Oshiomhole, said the attack on the governor “is because they believe that Ize-Iyamu has been anointed as the next governor of the state.”