Battle for Edo APC: Obaseki’s Faction in Dilemma as Ojezua Hints of Governor’s Feud with PDP

APC NEC Meeting Photo

Against all expectations that the dissolution of all executive committees of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC across the country would resolve the protracted crisis in the Edo State chapter of the party, the development has indeed aggravated the crisis with the two factions laying claim to being the authentic state executive that would dissolve into the care-taker committee as directed by the National Executive Council, NEC.

The NEC of the party had on Tuesday dissolved all the party’s structures – national, zonal and state after a meeting at the presidential villa presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari. According to the party, members of the dissolved organs are to constitute caretaker committees and this is what has compounded the crisis in the Edo State chapter of the party.

While the Anselm Ojezua-led faction of the party loyal to the state governor, Godwin Obaseki is laying claim to being the recognized executive, the other led by David Imuse, a retired army colonel loyal to Adams Oshiomhole, former national chairman of the party, insisted that Ojezua had no right laying claim to the leadership of a party he worked against during the 2020 governorship election.

Ojezua had strategically stayed put in the APC when Obaseki defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP on which platform he won re-election though he participated in all the activities of the governor’s new party, including his inauguration. Some other members of his faction however followed the governor to the PDP.

The renewed hostility between both factions was to surface on Thursday following a meeting summoned by Ojezua which had in attendance erstwhile APC members who have defected to the PDP with Obaseki. Sources at the meeting hinted the magazine that in the face of the new development, the camp considered several options including whether they should remain in the party or exit completely to the PDP, or any other party Obaseki decides to go if he is not able to settle his differences with the PDP.

But still pushing ahead with his spoiler role in the APC, Ojezua said the NEC of the party ought to have extended the expulsion of the former National Vice Chairman, South-South of the party, Hillard Eta to Oshiomhole and Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the APC in the September 19 governorship election in the state for the role he claimed they played in the party. insisting that he remained the valid state chairman of the party.

According to Ojezua, “We have given instructions to our counterparts at the lower levels of the party to make consultations. We are more interested in knowing the future of our party because you know this was the party to beat in Edo State in the past 12 years until Oshiomhole came and messed things up here. So, it is not just enough to treat us the way they treated other states. This state needs proper attention. To a certain point, it is in assessing the desires and wishes of the membership in Edo State, and if they don’t do that, then we will now be wondering whether we are in the right association.

“Any leadership must be sensitive to the feelings of their people no matter how lowly placed we are. Our membership is not inferior to any other membership anywhere in the country. But if they begin to treat us as if we are second rate, then of course we will have to review of our position”.

But reacting to Ojezua’s utterances, a source close to Imuse who was not available for comment, contended that he was not qualified to remain a member of the party.

The source, a chieftain of the party, said “I am shocked Ojezua would be laying claim to the party he wanted to destroy. He publicly worked against our party and the candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. With support from the governor, he was opposed to the defection of Ize-Iyamu into our party and denied him till the election. However, he was removed in line with the constitution of the party and ratified by the then NWC so he lacks any right to speak about APC. His romance with Obaseki and other PDP leaders to destroy the APC is not hidden, but our NEC has directed and we are waiting for further instructions.”

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