Ize-Iyamu’s defection: Obaseki, Edo APC set for showdown with Oshiomhole

Oshiomhole and Obaseki

By Jethro Ibileke/Benin

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state and the state chapter of the party of the APC are heading for a clash with the national secretariat of the party, following Obaseki’s insistence that he is not aware of a proposed rally by the party in the state.

This is as the state chairman of the party, Anselm Ojezua, also stressed that the party was not organising any rally whatsoever in the state.

It would be recalled that the national secretariat of the party is set to receive a former governorship candidate of the PDP in the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and hundreds of his supporters, to the party at a mega rally on Friday.

According to sources, the Vice President, Prof. Yomi Osinbajo, the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the national chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, will receive the defectors at the rally.

Obaseki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, on Thursday said checks with the state secretariat of the party indicated that there was no rally holding in the state.

He therefore warned would-be troublemakers not to breach the peace enjoyed in the state.

The statement reads: “We want to reiterate that we are not aware of any rally being organised in the state by the APC. As the leader of the party, it is only proper that the governor is made aware of any such rally. But as at today, we are not aware of any rally, as there has not been communication between the governor’s office and the party chairman to that effect.

“As a former national chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and founding member of the APC, Chief Tony Momoh, has recently averred, the governor of a ruling party in a state remains the leader of the party in the state. So, as leader of the party, the governor not being aware of such a rally, only goes to show that it is suspect.

“We want to consequently warn troublemakers to steer clear of the state and not attempt actions that would lead to breach of peace.

“During the last security meeting, we reviewed the situation in the state and zeroed in on the rising cult clashes in the state. Relevant security agencies have been put on notice to check the incident and ensure that people celebrate the yuletide season in peace.”

On his part, Ojezua insisted that the party was not holding a rally in the state, warning against the breach of peace by provocative actions of individuals who want to bring the name and character of the party in the state to disrepute.

It would be recalled that Ojezua had in an earlier statement, said neither the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who is the leader of the APC in Edo state nor other leaders of the party is aware of the purported declaration rally.

He urged members of the APC in the state not to have anything to do with the event.

“It is therefore highly provocative and capable of creating breach of peace.

“The organisers of that event are sufficiently seasoned and experienced as politicians to know the proper procedure and tradition usually attendant to this sort of event,” Ojezua added.