By Chris Azebamwan
The attention of the APC leadership in Edo State has been drawn to recent reports in the media and in particular, an article on page 12 of the Nigerian Observer of 12th August 2017 that was credited to one Roland Osakue. One would usually not join issues with the authors of such poorly researched article that tried albeit unsuccessfully, to paint Comrade Godwin Erhahon as a victim of a conspiracy by the State Exco of the APC but it is necessary to set the records straight for the reading and discerning public.
The genesis of the crisis that led to the removal of Comrade Godwin Erhahon from office was his refusal to apologise to the Chairman of the Party and the State Governor after he made derogatory and uncomplimentary remarks in an interview with Tell Magazine, in which he cast the APC in a bad light. These remarks were unfounded and unsubstantiated. This was all the more offensive, considering that Comrade Erhahon was at the material time, the voice and spokesman of the APC. He was subsequently suspended from office and requested to apologise for his unwarranted attack on principal officers of the Party.
His refusal was the reason his suspension dragged on for so long and it was only when he got wind of the plan by the State Exco to table the matter with a view to reaching a final resolution that he jumped on a plane to Abuja to beg the same Comrade Oshiomhole whom he had bluntly refused to apologise to for well over one year to intervene and plead for his reinstatement. The rest, as they say, is history.
The assertion that Comrade Erhahon’s removal from office is a betrayal of CPC is not only laughable but untenable. For a start, when CPC merged with other ‘legacy parties’ as they were then known to form the APC, the CPC as a registered political entity ceased to exist. But beyond that, the ministerial slot for Edo State is held by the defunct CPC in the person of the Honorable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Ehanire. Another member of the defunct CPC Mr. Eddy Ogunbor is on the Board of a class A Federal Government institution. The CPC, as it then was, only existed in Edo State on paper. The benefits that accrued to it, as a Party, was only in deference to the towering image of Mr. President who bestrode the political landscape like a huge colossus.
Edo State has 192 wards. Comrade Erhahon should let us know how many Councillors he had as State Chairman of the defunct CPC in any of the wards. Did he have any Local Government Chairman, State Assembly legislators or any representative in the National Assembly from Edo State? So to what political goodwill can he claim to want to cling so tenaciously to the office of State Publicity Secretary on the platform of the defunct CPC.
There was no witch-hunt in the removal of Comrade Erhahon. The State Exco was overly generous in the amount of time and the extent of slack given him to purge himself of contempt. He should swallow the bitter pill of his pride like a man and move on. The rest of us have.
Azebamwan is the Edo State Publicity Secretary of the APC