By Peterson Ibi
The Publicity Secretary of the Anslem Ojezua faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state, Pastor Joseph Osagiede, has accused the national chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, of working against the effort of the Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare ll, to resolve the crisis rocking the party.
He made the accusation on Monday, while briefing journalists at the party’s secretariat in Benin, the state capital.
He blamed Oshiomhole for allegedly habouring members of the Edo People’s Movement (EPM), a splinter group of the party, in Abuja.
Osagiede, who said the crisis rocking the party in the state will soon be over, disclosed that members of the EPM were already reaching out to them for reconciliation.
According to him: “I think the APC crisis is already ending because we know that EPM is already folding up. Members are already reaching out to us to say that they want to come back home.
“The national chairman will also learn some lessons from what is going on because for the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, to have led the Benin Traditional Council to meet with the president on this matter, once the Oba has expressed a wish about anything, it becomes a command to we that are the Edo people.
“The Oba’s wish is a command that there should be peace about this political imbroglio and for Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to still be habouring these dissidents who led the captain and they are forming EPM and he is supporting them, he is working against the wish of the Oba.
“Any wise leader, any wise political chairman, that knows that he is directly responsible for all this political crisis should take a cue from such statement of the Oba and come home, go and meet the Governor, take him and meet the Oba and say, ‘Baba, we have reconciled and we do not want crisis in Edo State.’ That is how to know a son that is well brought up,” he said.
Osagiede further explained that the party lacks confidence in the reconciliatory committee earlier set up to wade into the crisis rocking the party because of alleged vested interest by members of the committee.
He insisted that they would want either the presidency or the Benin Traditional Council (BTC) to wade in to end the crisis.
“We have always said that we are willing and ready for reconciliation; but you see, you cannot be constituting a reconciliation body when you are an interested party in that issue.
“We expect that a neutral body, for instance the presidency or Benin Traditional Council, can set up a committee for reconciliation. It is not for us to say we want to reconcile when we are the aggrieved party and that is why we rejected the committee set up by Adams Oshiomhole because most of the members have vested interest in the issues.
“For instance, it was the deputy speaker of the house that presided over that decision they should come and take over Edo house of assembly. Now, he is a member of that committee to reconcile aggrieved members and the National chairman, how can we have confidence in him?
“If you want to reconcile warring factions, you must come with clean hands.
“The chairman does not have any constitutional power to submit names, you go through a process and that process is what we call the congresses. And if through the primaries any candidate emerges, it is that candidate name that will be submitted by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party,” he said.
Co-convener of the defunct EMP, Samson Osagie, however debunked claims that its members were reaching out for reconciliation.
He siad: “Osagiede is not APC state publicity secretary. He shouldn’t be taken serious. He is day dreaming. He is an impostor, he was not elected in any Congress. They are the one that are already out of the party and they are on their way to the PDP.
“We are aware of the meeting they held with the PDP last night. The man calling himself the state APC chairman has been removed, we now have a new structure.
“Anselm Ojezua’s suspension has been ratified by the national working committee (of the party). With the coming on board of David Imusi as chairman, we are members of the mainstream APC.”