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Edo Crisis: Nigerian Governors Forum Unite, Behind Obaseki


*Consider APC, Edo’s Interests, Osunbor Appeals To Warring Parties

Temidayo Akinsuyi, Lagos

As
the political crisis between Governor Godwin Obaseki and his
predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, continues to deepen, state
governors under the aegies of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) are
throwing their weight behind Obaseki, who is one of their own, Daily
Independent has gathered.

Speaking with our correspondent on
Wednesday, one of the members of the party’s National Working Committee
(NWC) from the North-West of the country, said many of the governors are
backing Obaseki on account of solidarity with him and because many of
them are also battling with the yoke of godfatherism in their respective
states.

He also said the governors are particularly unhappy over
insinuations in some quarters that Obaseki may be given the ‘Ambode
treatment’ by Oshiomhole given his influence as the party’s national
chairman.

Akinwunmi Ambode, the immediate past governor of Lagos
State, was denied a second term ticket by the leaders of the APC in
Lagos State led by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a former governor of the state
and national leader of the party.

He, however, said the
leadership of the NGF, under Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, has
done a great job in mediating in the crisis, adding that he is confident
that a solution will be brokered before the governorship election in
Edo billed to hold next year.

“When the crisis first started,
Governor Fayemi, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Emir of Kano brokered a truce
between both men in Abuja on a weekend. If you remember, there was a
picture that went viral where both men (Obaseki and Oshiomhole) were
laughing at Presidential Policy Dialogue which took place at the
Presidential Villa in Abuja in July. That was three days after the truce
was brokered between them.

“The truth is that when the chips are
down, the governors are together because the NGF is one united family
and they believe that injustice to one is injustice to all.

“There
is none of the governors that is not facing what Obaseki is facing in
Edo one way or the other. All the governors are under the yoke of one
godfather or another except in one or two states where the governor is
the political leader.

“If you sit them down, I am sure 75 percent
of them are facing the same issue Obaseki is having. The only thing is
that many of them are just diplomatically managing it without letting it
get out of hand or leak to the media.

“On the issue of Edo, it
is because of the nature of Oshiomhole that is why the matter became a
public issue. Left to Governor Obaseki, nobody will even know that there
is a rift between them. Being a labour leader, Oshiomhole is combative
in nature and doesn’t like his right being trampled upon. He is ready to
fight to the last to ensure that justice is done.

“If Obaseki
has the kind of temperament Oshiomhole has, more damage would have been
caused by now. If Oshiomhole too had handled the matter the way Obaseki
is going about it, the issue wouldn’t have blown out of proportion the
way it is now. If you remember, despite the fact that the issues have
been widely reported in the media, Obaseki was even denying that there
is a rift between them before the matter went public.

“As for the
governors, there is no division among them on the Edo political crisis.
In things like this, they are always on the same page.

“They are
on the same page not to join forces together to gang up against the
national chairman but just to ensure that one, the matter doesn’t get
out of hand and two, so that one of them is not humiliated out of
office.

“I can assure you that Governor Fayemi and other
governors are working round the clock to ensure the matter doesn’t get
out of hand especially with the governorship election in the state
taking place next year. They know if care is not taken, they may lose
the state to the PDP which is hoping to benefit from the crisis.

“From
what I know, the party doesn’t want to lose Edo because aside being the
only state APC is controlling in the South-South, it will not be a good
thing for the party to lose the home state of the national chairman to
the opposition.

“Don’t forget that was what happened in Oyo
during the last governorship election. If not for the crisis between
Governor Abiola Ajimobi and Adebayo Shittu, former Minister of
Communications, there is no way PDP would have won the governorship
election in Oyo State”, he said.

Also speaking on the crisis,
Senator Oserhiemen Osunbor, a former governor of the Edo State, appealed
to the gladiators to put the interest of the party and state forward.

The
APC chieftain, who said he has offered private advice to both
Oshiomhole and Obaseki, said it is better for those involved to sheathe
their swords and resolve all differences because the state cannot make
meaningful progress when leading personalities are at loggerheads.

“It is in the interest of the party that we should resolve all conflicts and crises. So, I think people should consider the overall interest of the party and the state because the state cannot really progress when leading personalities within the party are at loggerheads. So, I think the earlier these issues are resolved, the better for everybody”, he said.

Source:- Independentng

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Last Updated: October 24, 2019

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