Four APC governorship aspirants in Edo have forged a united front, to tackle Gov. Godwin Obaseki, “to save the state from relapsing into abyss’’.
The aspirants at a joint news conference in Benin on Thursday said that the state had been embroiled in needless crisis since 2018, arising from deliberate alienation of party leaders.
Speaking on behalf of the aspirants, Dr Pius Odubu, the immediate past deputy governor of the state, noted that of particular concern was the inability of Edo State House of Assembly APC members, to perform their law-making jobs.
“This is unprecedented and does not represent the progressive character of Edo State people.
“We also observed with 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.
“As stakeholders, we have 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 traditional institutions in Edo State that took various steps to promote peace and unity in our state.”
Odubu disclosed that the aspirants in consultation with other critical stakeholders welcomed the urgent intervention of the newly-constituted Sen. Ahmed Lawan reconciliation committee for the party.
He urged every stakeholder of the party to cooperate with the committee.
“We collectively desire a party that is stable, virile and viable for us to realise our individual and collective aspirations.
“We also believe and rightly too that the attempt to close the political space and shut the doors against potential contestants for the office of the governor of the 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.”
He said further that they would maintain their unalloyed support for the leadership of the APC in the state, headed by Col. David Imose, the National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole and President Mohammadu Buhari as well as other national party leaders for their insistence on party supremacy.
It was reported that other aspirants present at the conference include retired Maj.-Gen. Charles Airhivbere, Christopher Ogiemwonyi, a former Minister of State, Works and Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu.