The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state loyal to the National Chairman of the Party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has dismissed claims by former National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, that Governor Godwin Obaseki was promised an automatic ticket as part of reconciliation in the state chapter of the party.
The faction said it was evident the Edo APC primaries will be free and fair, adding that the former Chairman should have informed the world those he claimed to be working against the interest of the party.
Publicity Secretary of the party, Chris Azebamwan, in a statement in Abuja, declared such meeting never took place.
He said that if such a meeting took place and decision arrived at, there would have been no need to set up the National Reconciliation Committee headed by Chief Bisi Akande.
According to him: “We are constrained to respond to statements credited to Chief John Odigie-Oyegun at page 8 of The Nation newspaper of today, 21st May 2020 and his full-page advert on the same subject at page 10.
“It is not in our character, upbringing or culture to take an elder to task. Especially an elder with the towering stature and credentials of Pa John Odigie-Oyegun who retired as a Federal Super-Permanent Secretary, has been a State Governor and served National Chairman of a major political party. He celebrated his 80th birthday recently, and we wish him many more years of service to the nation.
“Against this background, one is at loss to understand why Chief Odigie-Oyegun would make utterances that portray him as a mouthpiece or hireling of Godwin Obaseki. That the forthcoming primaries in Edo State would be credible is not in doubt.
“It is neither desirable, nor in the interest of anyone to compromise the process, and in so doing, give room for the Courts to intervene and upturn the results. The leadership of APC is determined to conduct credible primaries. In addition, one would have expected Chief Odigie-Oyegun to name or identify those he claims are contriving a crisis in Edo State.
“The more worrisome part of Pa Odigie-Oyegun’s outburst is his claim that as part of the reconciliation process, an automatic ticket was promised to Godwin Obaseki. To the best of my knowledge, Chief Odigie-Oyegun was not at the meeting where reconciliation was discussed. He is no longer a principal officer of the APC, and is in no position therefore, to lay claims to the inner workings of the party.
“One wonders why the National Reconciliation Committee headed by Chief Bisi Akande would have needed to be set up, if positions had been taken on crucial issues like the ticket for Edo State governorship elections.
“We operate a democratic dispensation and Pa Odigie-Oyegun should allow the process throw up the best man for the job instead of attempting to throw a spanner in the works by promoting his personal opinions and the desperate ambitions of Godwin Obaseki as decisions or resolutions of our party leadership.
“He is an elder statesmen and should not allow himself to be dragged into the fray. That would be a tragic fall from the high pedestal to which we are accustomed to place him.”