Being a press Conference held recently at the NUJ Press Centre, Benin City, Edo State by four governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
Gentlemen of the Press!
Let me on behalf of my brothers and colleagues seated before you congratulate you all and to thank God for ushering all of us into this New Year.
This is significant for every Edolite in a number of ways, chief of which is that the Governorship election for our state will hold later in the year.
Before you this afternoon are de facto and bonafide leaders and critical stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress, Edo State. Individually and collectively we have committed our lives to the service of our great state and nation in different capacities in the past and are therefore very concerned about the developments in the state under the current administration.
We therefore consider it imperative for us to leave our comfort zones to add our voices to the solutions that will restore peace and unity among Edo People once again.
Since the middle of 2018, the ruling party – the APC, which is our party has been embroiled in needless crisis arising from the deliberate alienation of party leaders and members from the Government the party worked hard to install in 2016 through the wishes of Edo People.
Of particular concern to us is the inability of the state House of Assembly members of our state elected on the platform of our party to perform the responsibility of Lawmaking for which they were elected since June 2019. This is unprecedented and does not represent the progressive character of the Edo People.
We have also observed with great trepidation the orgy of politically motivated violence across the State targeted at members of our great party who dared to hold opposing views from Government.
This Is unacceptable in a democratic setting. Needless to bog you down with the litany of attacks on the person and office of the National Chairman of our party and the onslaught against prominent Edo sons and daughters perceived as threats to the second term ambition of the Edo State Governor.
As stakeholders we have made both individual and collective efforts at restoring sanity to the polity but it appears that as we inch closer to the elections, the apprehension in the land is on the increase. We therefore commend our traditional institution in Edo State who took various steps to promote peace and unity in our state.
We also commend Mr. President and the National Working Committee under the leadership of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for the various peace initiatives they have instituted but which have surprisingly been rejected by the Governor of Edo State who has even gone ahead to institute court actions to stop these peace initiatives.
At this point, we wish to place on record that Edo State and its people remain one of the most politically sophisticated, enlightened and pragmatic in the Federation and we cannot sit back and allow our state slide into abyss.
We the APC aspirants for Edo State 2020 gubernatorial election in consultation with other critical stakeholders state unequivocally that we wholeheartedly welcome the urgent intervention of the newly constituted Senator Ahmed Lawan’s reconciliation Committee for the party. Indeed, we are prepared with our memoranda for presentation to the committee and we urge every genuine stakeholder of the party to cooperate with the committee. We collectively desire a party that is stable, virile and viable for us to realize our individual and collective aspirations so as to provide effective, efficient and productive leadership for our dear state. We also believe and quite rightly too, that the attempt to close the political space and shut the doors against potential contestants for the office of the Governor of Edo State by the incumbent governor is antithetical to the established norms of democracy. We must all be allowed to subject ourselves to the democratic process without let or hindrance.
We maintain our unalloyed support and confidence in the leadership of our party in Edo State headed by Col. Dr. David Imuse (Rtd) and at the National level under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. We thank President Muhammadu Buhari and other national leaders of the party for their insistence on party supremacy. The successes that have been recorded by the party across the country particularly the recent inclusion of Bayelsa and Imo States into the comity of APC States must serve as impetus for us to retain Edo State with firmer grip in the 2020 gubernatorial election.
We urge all our party members and supporters across the state to remain committed to the party while we collectively endeavour to navigate our party through the avoidable crisis and restore the hope of Edo people in an APC government that will once again provide an all inclusive governance and rapid economic development for which it was known in the early days of the party’s administration of the State under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
On our part, we are committed to ensuring full compliance with the party directives as we go into the elections and urge our brother Governor Obaseki that in a multi-party democracy, everyone no matter how highly placed must be subject to party laws ans rules. Therein lies the respect, order and decency in the interrelationship between government and the people.
God bless Nigeria!
God bless Edo State!! .
God bless the All Progressives Congress (APC)!!!
We thank you All.
Rt. Hon. Dr. Pius E. Odubu (Former Deputy Governor)
Maj. Gen. Charles Airhivbere (Rtd) (Former Governorship Candidate)
Engr. Christopher Ogiemwonyi (Former Minister of State, Works)
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu (Former Secretary to Edo State Government & Governorship Candidate).