POLITICS

: APC LOST BAYELSA DUE TO OSHIOMHOLE’S RECKLESSNESS

: APCChief Charles Idahosa, a former Commissioner for
Information in Edo state is a chieftain of the All
Progressives Congress (APC). In this interview with
News men, he speaks on the latest Supreme
Court judgment sacking David Lyon, the Bayelsa state
governor-elect, the reconstitution of the party’s
Reconciliation Committee and latest developments in his
home state. Excerpts:
As a chieftain of the APC, what was your reaction when you
received the news of the sacking of David Lyon by the
Supreme Court less than 24 hours before his inauguration as
governor?
I warned about this development some few weeks ago. I
said that Oshiomhole is doing more harm than good for
APC. I said he is too combative and a troublemaker who
thinks he knows more than everybody. This is not Labour
movement, this is politics. His recklessness is what is
leading APC into this problem that is happening now. Why
must we win elections and then lose it to the opposition?
We lost Zamfara, Rivers and now Bayelsa through
carelessness. The deputy governorship candidate of APC in
Bayelsa has no certificate but because he was brought by
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, anything goes.
The party leadership led by Oshiomhole failed to do due
diligence and background checks. Prof . Itse Sagay attacked
him for being too troublesome and that his actions will kill
the party but he blackmailed the old man saying he (Sagay)
asked him to contest for presidency so as to present him in
bad light to Buhari. Sagay had to say he asked him to
contest against former president Olusegun Obasanjo in
2003 and not against President Buhari. Now we have lost
Bayelsa, if they like let them gamble with Edo. We are
waiting for them.
President Muhammadu Buhari few days ago reconstituted
the reconciliation committee of the APC. As a leader in Edo
state where the reconciliation committee will have a lot of
work to do, are you comfortable with the latest
development?
I think it is a welcome development. Though I have my
reservations about it but the governor of the state, Godwin
Obaseki who is the party leader in the state has issued a
statement that he is happy about it. I agree with him
because someone leading others through the river knows
where it is the deepest. The governor is our party leader and
we abide by any position taken by him. If he said the newly
reconstituted committee is fine, then it is okay by me even
though like I said, I have my reservations about it.
Recently there has been report s of explosions in some
parts of Benin, the Edo state capital ahead of the elections.
What do you think is responsible for this and how can it be
nipped in the bud?
I am not too comfortable hearing about explosions here and
there but at the end of the day, I think it is something that is
being done by a group of people to achieve an end which is
to give a wrong impression about Edo state. We are not a
violent people and there have never been political killings in
any of our elections in this state. In legal terms, I think what
is happening is what is called compelling action by
intimidation. They are trying to intimidate the powers that
be to do certain things. Opposition to Obaseki has never
been this violent. The Edo People’s Movement (EPM) led by
Adams Oshiomhole and his boys have always been there
and it was clear ab initio that their aim is not to give
Obaseki a second term ticket and they made it quite clear.
Though they were abusing the governor and holding rallies,
there was no violence. But the whole thing changed when a
decampee from PDP joined the APC and that is Osagie Ize-
Iyamu. The whole plot is to remove Obaseki at all cost. First
of all, they tried the National Assembly to take over the
functions of the Edo state House of Assembly but the Edo
state government was able to get a court order stopping
them. Then, 14 of the lawmakers-elect loyal to them have
already been quarantined in Abuja as Internally Displaced
Politicians (IDPs). Their hope was that if the national
assembly is able to take over the House, these 14
lawmakers will come back to Edo state and impeach the
speaker and later go after the governor. After that one
failed, they started burning markets and so on. People may
start asking, why is all these taking place? The whole idea is
to force the federal government to declare state of
emergency. That was why I used the word ‘compelling
action by intimidation. But they have also failed in this
aspect too.
For those of you supporting Governor Obaseki, some people
have claimed that you are just egging him and on and will
dump him by the time the election heat starts in Edo state.
What is your reaction to that?
I stand like the Rock of Gilbratar behind Godwin Obaseki.
Nothing will make me leave him. I support him. I am doing
that because he is doing the right thing. People don’t like
change. For you to make an omelette you must break the
egg. Things must go very tidy before we get to the next
level. I am convinced that Godwin Obaseki knows what he is
doing because I have known him from the age of 11 years. I
have said it on so many fora that my relationship with him is
not politics. I was his senior at college. I was in Class 5
while he was in Class 1. He is not just somebody that I am
just knowing. I knew him from home before he came to join
us in college. You can be rest assured that I know the
person that I am talking about. He knows what he is doing.
He is very straight forward and focused. Nobody can bend
him. I have tried all the tricks in the book. But it is what he
wants to do that he does. What’s happening now is like a
storm in a teapot. There is a no cause for alarm. Be rest
assured. I know many of us are still standing between the
line. But don’t be bothered, don’t be shaken. Obaseki must
do his eight years. If anybody, by error, omission and
commission stops him, APC is dead in Edo State.

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