Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed a press conference held by members of a proscribed group, Edo Peoples Movement, saying the group’s agitations were fuelled by greed and avarice.
Discrediting the group’s submissions, APC Chairman in Edo State, Barr. Anselm Ojezua, alleged that two of the anchors of the meeting were burdened with severe malfeasance.
Ojezua described Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as a mercenary of distraction allegedly recruited by the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
He further alleged that Ize-Iyamu is currently being charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over N700 million fraud, while Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) has been suspended by the party in his local government area.
Ojezua described other participants at the press conference, including former Minister of State for Works, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, and former Edo State Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Odubu, as individuals who were on life support politically.
“These dissidents out of their greed and in reaction to the refusal of Governor Obaseki to share the state’s patrimony in satisfaction of their avarice, formed the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) and began their agitation against the government, which have all failed.
“Their latest resort is this press conference aimed at extricating themselves from the consequences of the crisis, which they caused. One of the actors, Gen. Airhiavbere (rtd), is currently suspended from the party in his local government area for anti-party activities, which resulted from his decision to work against President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC National Assembly candidates in the last general elections.
“As for Pastor Ize-Iyamu, he is simply a mercenary recruited by Comrade Oshiomhole to accentuate the political tension in the APC and Edo State, even though he is still on his long walk towards becoming a member of the party; his membership is still in abeyance. Meanwhile, he has started executing his ignoble assignment from Comrade Oshiomhole of creating tension in the party. He is currently facing a N700 million fraud charge brought against him by the EFCC.
“Their action is taken in realisation of the fact that all attempts they have made in conspiracy with Comrade Oshiomhole to destabilise the government in Edo State and create political distraction have failed,” he alleged.
Ojezua maintained that in general Edo people and APC members both at home and abroad understood the agitation of these individuals and were in firm support of Obaseki and his administration.
On some of the issues raised at the conference, Ojezua said it was unfortunate that the group did not understand the concept of party supremacy.
“The supremacy of the party is embedded in the rules contained in the constitution of the party, and not rested on any party officer, no matter how highly placed. Everyone who is a member of the party must bow to the party’s constitution.
“Bowing to the whims and caprices of any individual no matter how highly placed when such a person is acting in violation of the constitution of the party does not amount to upholding party supremacy.
“Party supremacy does not rest in Abuja alone, but must be respected at every level of the party, from the ward, local government area, state and national levels. The national officers of the party, no matter how highly placed, must subject themselves to the supremacy of the party at these levels.
“In one breath, they speak of the rule of law, yet in another they pay tribute to one Col. David Imuse (rtd) as chairman of the party in the state when there is a subsisting court order restraining him from parading himself as chairman of the APC in Edo State. That same court ordered for status quo of Ojezua’s chairmanship of the party be maintained,” he pointed out.
On the call for a fresh proclamation of Edo State House of Assembly, Ojezua said: “These individuals, who claim to be apostles of the rule of law, have repeatedly condemned the proclamation of Edo State House of Assembly by Edo State governor, when a court of competent jurisdiction specifically the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, not only upheld the proclamation, but also restrained the governor from repeating the process.
“Even the current Chief Justice of State, Hon. Justice Edigin, subjected herself to the authority of the 7th Edo State House of Assembly, which these so-called democrats have continuously vilified,” he further alleged.
Speaking on the National Reconciliation Committee set up by the APC’s National Working Committee, he said: “It must be known that we are not averse to reconciliation. However, the constitution of any National Reconciliation Committee must be done with respect to the dictates of natural justice. Parties to a dispute should not be allowed to adjudicate on matters where they have shown reasonable interest. This is the defect of the Reconciliation Committee set up by Comrade Oshiomhole and a few associates within the National Working Committee.”
“While we support the constitution of a Reconciliation Committee to clear the mess caused by Comrade Oshiomhole and a few dissidents within Edo APC, it will be best constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the National Leader of the party, as was decided in the last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja.”