Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki says the breakaway All Progressives Congress group (Edo Peoples Movement) have declared their intention to return to the fold before the start of any peace talks.
EPM co-convener, Henry Idahagbon, earlier said that Obaseki should call for a peace meeting.
But Obaseki, who spoke through his Chief of Staff, Taiwo Akerele, on
Saturday, said the EPM was not recognised by the APC constitution.
He said, “EPM members cannot be running to Oshiomhole; its not possible. It means that he is taking sides. As a leader, it is expected that he should
give opportunity to all sides and we are ready to go to Oshiomhole when he
provides leadership, but those people must first drop the toga of EPM. We
cannot talk to them on the basis of their membership of the EPM. I am a
loyal partyman. I am loyal to the APC. I am loyal to Buhari, I am loyal to
the APC National Leader (Asiwaju Bola Tinubu).”
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While acknowledging Idahagbon and Samson Osagie’s contributions to
Obaseki’s victory in 2016, Akerele insisted that the EPM was an illegal
“If anybody has any issue, they should come out. Has anybody told you that
they are against the policies of the government? No. These are our
brothers, these are our comrades. I am using this opportunity to call on
them. Come let us reason together as the Bible says so that we can iron out
issues. Is it Idahagbon? Is it Samson Osagie? Anybody? They are our
brothers and we want them to come so that the APC will be one united family and one united party so that together we can campaign for the second term of Obaseki because what we are looking at is how the future generation will be employed.
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“There is no crack in the wall of the APC. What has happened is that some
people who could not penetrate into the heart of this government decided to form a parallel group which is unknown to the APC constitution. It is an
unknown body to the APC constitution. I have been a member of the APC for 12 years. It (the EPM) is unknown to the APC constitution.
He faulted Oshiomhole for role in the crisis, saying it was not good for
Akerele added, “He is our national chairman and former governor of Edo
State that is well respected. In fact, we don’t only need him in Edo we
need him in Nigeria. We need Oshiomhole as a leader in this country. His
wealth of wisdom and experience but he should really be the leader of all.”
The governor’s aide also frowned on the belief that Oshiomhole
single-handedly made Obaseki governor.
Akerele said, “The decision to make Obaseki governor was a collective
decision; it was not a one-man decision. It is erroneous for anybody to
think that it was by one person. If Oshiomhole brought Obaseki and he
didn’t scale through the scrutiny, he wouldn’t have sailed through.”