The Gang up Oshiomhole Never Anticipated
By Osehobo Ofure
A few days ago, Edo state governor Godwin Obaseki and his weary supporters in the APC said they were ready for peace and reconciliation outside the party machinery.
They said their principal will only participate in a reconciliation committee set up by the President himself or the Benin traditional council. Mr Joseph Osagiede who spoke for the group said this much while speaking in Benin with reporters.
But Nigerians have learnt not to take the governor serious. As someone who rejected 4 Reconciliation Committees set up within the party structure there is no guarantee that he will respect a divine effort.
This was days after the governor was seen in the company of APC ward officials ostensibly mobilized from Etsako West, claiming to have expelled the National chairman of the party, Mr Adams Oshiomhole.
This anti-reconciliation move was however punctured by more authentic APC leaders from the ward, who denied making the claims credited to them.
Meanwhile the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, late last year dismissed the call from the governor for the resignation of the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, saying party supremacy must be respected.
Mr Tinubu made his position known when he fielded questions from State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House Abuja.
According to the APC national leader, Mr Oshiomhole has so far not violated the APC constitution or engaged in any anti-party activity that will warrant his resignation or removal from office.
Recall that the present Edo APC crisis kicked off when the Edo assembly of 24 members-elect was inaugurated at night with only 9 of them present. A similar episode which played out in Bauchi state has since been resolved with Oshiomhole as National chairman of the APC calling for due process.
The call from Tinubu was on the heels of a similar one by the Forum of State Chairmen of the All Progressives Congress for the recently constituted APC National Reconciliation Committee to come up with an action plan to resolve the lingering crisis in the party.
READ ALSO: ‘I Was Ashamed Seeing Obaseki Celebrating Oshiomhole’s Suspension’ – Ize-Iyamu
The chairmen had urged the committee headed by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, to set for work and ignore the camp of the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, which had raised objection to the committee.
They said Edo as the only one out of the 36 states and Abuja, should not be allowed to frustrate peace efforts in the party since it was not ready for external mediators.
As it were the Lawan committee was the 4th in the series set up to find a way out of the Edo APC debacle largely orchestrated by the governor’s desperation for a second term.
The APC National Working Committee had on December 18 raised the 10-member committee headed by Lawan to resolve the lingering crisis in the party.
The arrangement was in line with the November 22, 2019 resolution of the party’s National Executive Committee, which empowered the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to constitute the committee.
Secretary of the Forum of APC chairmen, Dr Ben Nwoye, who is also the chairman of the Enugu State chapter of the APC, commended the Oshiomhole-led NWC for working towards achieving peace in the party.
READ ALSO: Oshiomhole: ‘ God Will See Me Through, My Travails Not From Edo’
This was after “Chairmen” of the APC in the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state loyal to Mr Obaseki in a statement jointly signed by Anselm Ojezua and Ikuenobe Anthony, respectively explained that Oshiomhole was suspended for his alleged role in the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party.
Consequent on the development, they said the Edo APC has adopted the vote of no confidence passed on Oshiomhole and the subsisting suspension order from the other organs of the party in the state.
The state party members added, “Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is the one behind the crisis in Edo APC. We have passed a vote of no confidence in him and he stands suspended from the party.
But in another statement jointly signed by the Chairman of the body and Etsako West Chairman, Ibrahim Akokia, as well as his Etsako Central and Owan West counterparts, Suleiman Bagudu and Lugard Alukpe respectively, the 18 LGA Chairmen of APC in Edo distanced themselves from the orchestrated Oshiomhole’s suspension.
They insisted that they were not aware of the meeting where a vote of no confidence was passed on Oshiomhole who they said was “doing very well”. On the contrary, they accused the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, of harassment and intimidation, adding that his actions could pull down the APC in the state.
READ ALSO: ‘Are You Looking At Me With Pity?’, Oshiomhole Asked Journalists
They, called on the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to expel Governor Obaseki from the party over allegations of anti-party activities.
“He is on a mission to destroy APC in Edo State but we will resist it,” the chairmen added, “We are the chairmen of the party in the 18 LGA s and we are not aware of the meeting where a vote of no confidence was passed on the national chairman of our party, Comrade Oshiomhole who is doing very well”.
“Rather we are aware that majority of the chairmen haven suffered intimidation, harassment and assault in the hands of the Governor Godwin Obaseki led administration, what we have never seen in the politics of our dear state.”
The chairmen, thereafter, passed a vote of no confidence on Governor Obaseki and the embattled state chairman of the party, Anslem Ojezua, alleging that both men have not only failed the party but the people of the state.
“Oshiomhole remains our leader and we pass vote of confidence on his leadership. It is sad that the governor and his cohorts are using money to induce our members but majority of them, we are happy, have resisted his moves to intimidate them,” the LG chairmen said.
The Forum of state APC chairmen believes, “The formation of the National Reconciliation Committee is a welcome development. It is consistent with the resolution of the National Executive Committee. It is also an indication of clear intention by the NWC to reconcile all aggrieved members of our great party”.
They are of the view the party had shown sincerity of purpose to resolve lingering crisis by raising the committee, arguing that, “The committee members are patriotic Nigerians with diverse backgrounds and experiences”.
READ ALSO: Oshiomhole’s Suspension: Ize-Iyamu Talks Tough, Says ‘We Will Resist Attempt To Rubbish Him’
They know that the Reconciliation Committee, ” will certainly achieve the desired objectives notwithstanding the dissenting opinion of few aggrieved members. As the saying goes, in democracy ‘majority will have their way while minority will have their say.”
“So, we expect the Senator Lawan-led committee to come up with an action plan to resolve most of the internal conflicts bedevilling the party. Edo is one state out of 36 states. There is one form of crisis or the other in all the other states of the federation…”.
The general feeling is that, “Edo State would not expect the other 35 states and Abuja to set aside their desire for peaceful resolution of all crises because Edo is not ready to allow external mediators to assist them in resolving their internal crisis”.
Senator Tinubu no doubt echoed popular opinion in the APC when he said,: “We all have to respect the party supremacy. You were all here when we had the Congress, we elected the new executives, we had the convention, the NEC was formed and we surrendered to avoid conflict, to avoid domination, to avoid abuses of power, we surrendered our rights, all rights to the National Working Committee headed by Adams Oshiomhole.
“That the National Working Committee should set up electoral bodies to supervise various state congresses and elections. ‘We signed off for it. So, if it is not in our individual favour, so be it’”.
He said, “We gave three options, consensus, where there is no consensus because if you are more than two or three and you cannot agree to one candidate, you go to the next level. The next level is the stakeholders’ delegates (system) and you have to be supervised by the National Working Committee of the party, national election committee of the party. That shows party supremacy or the freest option, the less cumbersome is to open direct primary, line up and count the number, 1,2,3. If you win, you win and if you fail, go home.’’
Mr Tinubu further explained that an appeal committee was set up by the party to look into grievances arising from the conduct of the party’s primaries, adding the committee, which served as internal mechanism for conflict resolution, had performed its duties diligently.
READ ALSO: Oshiomhole’s Suspension: Ize-Iyamu Talks Tough, Says ‘We Will Resist Attempt To Rubbish Him’
“It was there (appeal committee), you cannot turn round against that, and you cannot turn against all of that. No, Party is supreme, party must be respected, abuses will not do it and anger will not do it. It is party politics, somebody will win and somebody will lose, too bad,’’ he added.
It would be recalled that Mr Oshiomhole, had earlier alleged that conservatives within the party were ganging up to pass a vote of no-confidence on him. He said in a statement that his sin was his refusal to allow continued impunity and circumvention of due process being perpetuated in some states.
The APC chairman added that he was not surprised by the gang up, as he never had the illusion that the process of reforming the party was going to be an easy one.
He also did not expect that someone he held the ladder for to climb to relevance politically in his state of origin will be at the forefront either.
Osehobo Ofure, a seasoned journalist writes from Benin, Edo State
Ahmed Musa Equals Zidane’s Record, Surpasses Viera, Lampard
Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, has become the most capped Nigerian player after his appearance in the second leg of Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Guinea-Bissau.
The Nigerian national team defeated the Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau 1-0 at the Estadio 24 de Setembro.
However, Musa, who made his Eagles debut in 2010, and was also part of the 2013 Nations Cup-winning side, earned 108 caps – setting a new record for Nigeria.
With his feat, he has equaled France’s midfielder Zinedine Zidane, German’s Jurgen Klinsmann, and England’s Tim Cahill’s 108 national caps.
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Also, the 30-year-old Super Eagles captain surpassed Patrick Vieira’s 107 international caps for France, and Frank Lampard’s 106 caps for the Three Lions of England.
Since his debut, the Nigerian forward has scored 16 goals for the national team. He is Nigeria’s highest scorer in the World Cup with four goals.
He also has 92 club goals and 65 assists.
NGO Trains Delta Community On Tools For Environmental Justice
The Connected Advocacy, a Benin-based NGO, on Monday trained the residents of Owa/Alidinma community in Agbor, Delta State, on strengthening local movement and demand spaces for environmental justice.
The training featured sessions on environmental monitoring, smart advocacy tools for environmental justice and how to build a non-violent environmental justice movement.
The Director of the NGO, Mr Israel Orekha, said the capacity building was aimed to enable local communities to advocate for and demand freedom from pollution, environmental degradation and exploitation.
READ ALSO: Pollution: Respect For Human, Environmental Rights Take Centre Stage As NGO Organises Capacity Building In Delta Community
Orekha said the training was due to the impact of oil exploration in the community, which include crises, environmental degradation, diversion of monetary benefits, intimidation from the traditional rulers and non-compliance with environmental multilateral agreements, among others.
“The imperative of smart advocacy tools for environmental justice are evidence-based collective efforts or strategies targeting decision-makers and polluters.
“The training focuses on influencing the actions, programmes and policies of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and governments toward environmentally friendly interventions, fulfilling the agreement for the protection of the earth, people and planets.”
Taking the participants on environmental monitoring tools, Cadmus Atake-Enade, said the devices were effective for mitigating the danger of fossil-fuel extraction in the local communities.
He encouraged participants to monitor their environment through air, water and soil pollution, and biodiversity issues.
READ ALSO: NGO Inaugurates GBV Clubs In Bauchi Secondary Schools
Atake-Enade listed tools for monitoring the physical environment like pens, pencils, cameras and whistles, saying the need to document the findings or monitor the evidence cannot be over-emphasised.
The training concluded with the reconciliation of the Traditional Community Council and Host Community Network operating in the community.
Cash Scarcity: Ngige Moves To Avert NLC’s Nationwide Strike
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, Monday moved swiftly to avert the impending nationwide strike of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, billed to commence on Wednesday.
Recall that the NLC had on Wednesday last week directed all its branches across the country and the affiliate unions to embark on mobilisation of members for the proposed strike due to the scarcity of naira notes that has caused untold hardships to Nigerians.
It threatened to embark on the industrial action, if the cash crunch, fuel scarcity and electricity tariff increase were not addressed.
The NLC also advised its members to stockpile food stuffs, saying that it will occupy all branches of the Central Bank on Nigeria, CBN, nationwide and its headquarters from Wednesday.
READ ALSO: Report Banks Not Dispensing Cash To State NLC’s Office — LABOUR
However, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Ngige in a bid to stop the NLC from paralysing economic activities at the nation’s apex bank, intervened in the dispute between labour and the CBN over the latter’s Naira Redesign Policy, which caused a cash crunch in the country.
In response to the strike threat, Ngige in a statement by Olajide Oshundun, Director Press in the ministry invited the leadership of the Congress and the CBN management to a meeting in his office on Monday, to resolve their differences.
The ten-man delegation of the NLC was led by the President, Comrade Joe Ajaero and the General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja while the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele was accompanied by two Deputy Governors, Kingsley Obiora (Economic Policy) and Ade Shonubi (Organised Private Sector).
READ ALSO: [JUST IN] Cash Scarcity: NLC, CBN Meet In Abuja
According to the statement, Ngige in his opening remarks, refuted the allegation of the NLC that his Ministry did nothing about the matter.
He said on receiving the letter from NLC, he forwarded same to the CBN Governor before travelling out of the country for an International Labour Organisation (ILO) Governing Board meeting and directed the Permanent Secretary and Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations Department to follow-up.
He maintained that his Ministry took the necessary step by sending the letter to CBN Governor who received the letter and assured that action would be taken.
On his part, the CBN Governor, Emefiele said when he received the letter from the Labour Ministry, he called the President of NLC to brief him on steps taken to alleviate the sufferings of the masses and equally made appointment and had a fruitful discussion with NLC president.
He said large volume of funds were made available to the deposit money banks and they were directed to open their branches on Saturdays and Sundays and that they complied under strict supervision by the CBN.
According to Emefiele, following the steps taken Nigerians have been enjoying their money.
Earlier, Comrade Ajaero said they only got a reply to their second letter to the ministry and subsequently, an invitation to the meeting.
He said they no longer envisage any problem, since CBN has started sending cash to the banks and Nigerians were now accessing their money, acknowledging that meetings has been taking place in the spirit of good dialogue.
He, however, urged the CBN to improve on their services, regretting the information gap created in the implementation of the Naira Redesign.
READ ALSO: NLC Protests: CBN To Flood Banks With Old Naira Notes
He said: “NLC could not have stopped CBN from taking good decisions and implementing them in the interest of the nation. If stakeholders were invited and briefed on the policy, when the people complain, NLC would explain everything to them. But in this case, the CBN did it alone.
Moreover, it is a wrong time for administering such a national policy.”
He assured that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of NLC will meet tomorrow Tuesday 28th of March, 2023 where members from states and Local Government Areas are expected to report on availability of money, after which a decision will be taken on the strike.
The Minister, however, assured all that whether the NLC is embarking on dispute of right or dispute of Interest, the dispute has been apprehended and can only result to more dialogue and not strike.
The Minister thanked all for honouring the invitation.
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