Oshiomhole, Obaseki divide Edo Senators, Reps


●APC should allow Obaseki govern, says Urhoghide
●Akpatason: I’m 100% for APC national chair

The raging political war between the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, and his estranged political godfather, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is taking a toll on the harmonious relationship that hitherto existed among the federal lawmakers from the state.

Several stakeholders have lent their voice in either in support or condemnation of the controversies surrounding the seeming ugly development in the state.

Among those who have taken critical look and taken firm stand on the matter are members of the National Assembly from Edo state, some of who either support or frowned at the unfolding political development in the state.

Investigations revealed the senators and members of the House of Representatives from the state have been singing different tunes as they are now divided over the tussles for the control of the state between Oshiomhole and his godson.

Sources close to the three senators from the state confided in our correspondent that the trio are not on the same page as they were said to have taken different stands on the matter.

While noting that the recent nocturnal inauguration of the state assembly has further polarised the federal legislators, one of the source said the dust of the crisis trailing the election of the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly is yet to abate.

Confirming the division, a top insider in Edo politics, who is in the know of political happenings within the state, told our correspondent that Senator Clifford Ordia, who is a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is standing with Obaseki while Senator Francis Alimikehena, who is a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is supporting Oshiomhole in the raging acrimony between the two political giants.

“With the emergence of Frank Okiye as the Speaker and Yekini Idiaye as his deputy, and the dramatic split of the state legislators into two groups, there is bound to be crisis among the federal lawmakers. As of now, 13 of the lawmakers are still in Abuja, where they ran to.

“The ‘Oshiomhole 15’ has reduced to 13, following the alleged threat to their lives. Two more were inaugurated to join the ‘Obaseki 9’, so already, 11 of the lawmakers have so far been inaugurated. All these are scheming will lead to more division among the federal lawmaker. Though the two senators from Edo were not able to speak with our correspondent on the quarrel between Oshiomhole and Obaseki and how it affects those of them in the Senate, as at the time of going to press, some of their close associates confirmed that they remain divided over the matter.

Senator Clifford Ordia did not pick his call after several trials by our correspondent while Senator Francis Alimikehena’s number did not go through but a close ally of Alimikehena said that he traveled out of the country a couple of days ago, and had not returned to the country as at press time.

The third senator, Matthew Urhoghide, however, expressed his feelings on the matter but did not expressly declare that he was backing Obaseki in the ongoing disagreement between the godfather and his godson, however, it is obvious from his response, that he is supporting Obaseki.

While calling on Oshiomhole and the APC to allow the governor deliver good governance to the people of the state, Urhoghide, who represents Edo South Senatorial District on the platform of the PDP regretted that the quarrel between Obaseki and his political godfather was negatively affecting the development of the state.

The former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts in the 8th Senate, said that the current rift between Obaseki and Oshiomhole, is an obvious battle of supremacy between the duo, emanating from the fight to confirm who would have control over the political affairs of Edo State, as the state governorship election approaches.

He reasoned that, although he does not belong to the APC, which rules Edo State, but as a stakeholder in the politics and governance of the state, he was of the view that the governor should be allowed to concentrate on governance.

“I am not a member of the APC; so, ordinarily, I shouldn’t have said anything but because I am a citizen of Edo State as well as a stakeholder in the project of my state, I have to express my feelings on the matter you are talking about.

“The way I see the whole thing is that what has to be, has to be. Obaseki is the governor as of today. Therefore, politics should not distract him from governance. He should be allowed to do his work. In fact, to be more categorical, I want to urge Oshiomhole and the APC to allow him to do his work and deliver good governance to the people. Edo people are tired of the quarrel because it is not bringing any development to the state.

“When and if Obaseki is allowed to concentrate on governance, the people will benefit because he will bring good governance to the state, and the people would be better for it because that is why they voted him to power, to deliver dividends of good governance to them and not to witness quarrels from those holding their mandate.

“Honestly, I don’t want to glorify their quarrel but I am insisting that the APC and those managing the affairs of the party, who are involved in the quarrel should allow the governor to do governance for the people who elected him because he did not just aspireto take over power in Edo; he promised to work for the people, and on the strength of that, they voted him in,” Urhoghide stressed.

In the same vein, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Akoko Edo Federal constituency, Hon. Peter Akpatason (APC) described the crisis as “a complete disaster”.

He said: “Let me tell you in the first place, I see the development in Edo State as a major disaster and an unfortunate development and it is an avoidable thing; I see it as a situation that has been immaturely managed, because in every political space there are always issues and when issues are managed with political maturity, the tendency for it to snowball into catastrophic disaster as we are seeing in Edo state will be very, very remote.

“But when they are not properly managed that is when situation gets to what we are seeing in the state now. With respecting to standing in one block or the other I think in the first place we should realise that there is no need for the kind of fight that is going on. “It is quite avoidable and I think that our people should behave more reasonably to ensure that the situation is arrested as quickly as possible because it is not going to do anybody any good.”

Akpatason who is a vocal lawmaker and former President of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) said, “it will do a lot of people harm; it is already causing people pains. “I have been a victim. However, I will seek for peace rather than outright war. I am sure it is crystal clear to every Nigerian that Peter Akpatason is one 100 percent loyalist of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and I will never change because I have no reason to change.

“However, I have chosen to be silent all this while because I think there is need for peace. If we allow it to snowball into a total warfare I will not be taking stand where I belong.”