Perhaps for the umpteenth time, Charles Idahosa, former political adviser to the immediate past governor of Edo State, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, has reiterated his call for the resignation of his erstwhile principal as the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. Addressing journalists at his Benin-City residence Monday, Idahosa, a chieftain of the party and staunch loyalist of the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, advised Oshiomhole to quietly tender his resignation letter as the national chairman in the interest and survival of the party. According to Idahosa, the party is losing its grip due to Oshiomhole’s alleged overbearing attitude.
He said the national chairman of the party has no political home-base having been suspended by his ward, local government area, and the state chapter of the party, stressing that the only way out for him is to tender his resignation letter as he lacked the political acumen to lead the party but can best function as a labour leader.
But in his reaction, Washington Osifo, a former commissioner for education in Oshiomhole’s cabinet, and spokesman of the group of 14 aggrieved lawmakers-elect described Idahosa’s call as laughable. He chided the journalist turned politician for playing his politics based on who is bringing the money.
Joining issues with opponents of the governor who claimed to have formed the APC in the state, Idahosa said “I happened to have been among the five Nigerians that in 2004 formed the Action Congress for Democrats (ACD) that is today APC. In 2006, Igbinedion disowned ACD. In fact, I was the one that was being disowned because they saw me at a meeting of the ACD now APC; Lai Muhammed was there, and there was this insinuation that Igbinedion as the then governor and Tunubu were the ones sponsoring the ACD that is now APC.
Idahosa recalled that while Tinubu kept quiet and did not bother to deny Lai Muhammed, “the Edo State government at that time quickly disowned me. But it is very interesting today that everybody is now claiming APC. That is one of the reasons I cannot keep quiet. I am a founding father; I see people just coming into the party to destroy it. Adams Oshiomhole as at that time was still carrying placards on the streets of Lagos and Abuja, protesting as a labour leader. That was when we formed this party. We knew the roles he played that time”.
Idahosa, a member of the board of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, said: “from the way we have seen issues under Oshiomhole, APC is dying gradually and there is no way somebody like me can see issues and pretend not to see it”. According to him, Oshiomhole must have been a very good trade union leader, “but as a leader of a political party, he does not have the temperament; he does not have the character to lead the party. The best he can do for himself because we still love him, is to tender his resignation so that the party can have peace”. Idahosa said with the way the party was going things were going out of control. He blamed the former governor for being the brain behind the 14 members of the house of assembly not resuming sitting as duly elected members thereby denying the people of their rights.
Like he had boasted in the past, Idahosa was confident that Obaseki would get the party’s ticket whether through direct primaries or indirect primaries as it is the party in the state that would decide what mode of primaries to adopt. Carpeting Oshiomhole on his comment on the state deputy governor, Philip Shaibu whom he accused of betraying him, Idahosa said he was not fair in his comment that he made Shaibu. Idahosa said, on the contrary, it was Philip’s late father that made Oshomhole, positing that the late Shaibu would turn in his grave over such comment on his son.
Taking Idahosa to the cleaners, Osifo said “it is laughable for Honourable Idahosa to be calling for the resignation of our national chairman. He does not play politics based on ideology or principles; he plays his politics on who is bringing the money. He is saying this because of what he is making from the current system”. The lawmaker-elect insisted that “Oshiomhole has come to reposition our great party”. Debunking the allegation that the 14 lawmakers-elect were being housed in Abuja and paid salaries by Oshiomhole, Osifo said “that is far from the truth. We decided from the day of the illegal inauguration in the night of June 17 that we are going to challenge the illegal action. The case is in court because we are lawmakers and we cannot be lawbreakers; we are pushing our case legally”.
Osifo commended their numerous supporters for remaining law-abiding in the struggle to enthrone genuine democracy and urged them to remain calm and disregard the unfortunate comments by Idahosa.