There may be more trouble ahead for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State if the governor, Godwin Obaseki goes ahead to hound party members who asserted themselves during the 2019 primary elections.
The governor, receiving the report of the party’s reconciliation committee which looked into the bad blood generated by the outcome of the primary election for the purpose of fence-mending, assured that disciplinary actions would be meted out to those who betrayed the party during the exercise.
Political watchers, however, foresee more danger ahead for a party that is still locked in a battle of wits between the governor and his estranged godfather, Adams Oshiomhole who is also the national chairman of the ruling party.
They believe that the threatened disciplinary action is a recipe for a worsening rancor in the party as it may turn out to be an instrument of witch-hunt of perceived political foes.
Expressing appreciation to the committee for helping to review issues involving all the aspirants that participated in the recent APC primaries, Obaseki called for compulsory monthly meetings across the various units, wards and Local Government Areas, LGAs, that would be attended by special assistants and advisers from the wards.
He promised to get across to all the parties involved in the issues raised by the committee and urged them to be proud of the developmental strides so far recorded by the party.
Obaseki assured that the reconciliation exercise would be carried out and insisted that stiff disciplinary measures would be meted out to those that betrayed and erred against the party. Some aggrieved party members had allegedly worked against the fortunes of the party during the general elections such that the party lost Edo State. Perhaps more humiliating for the governor was the loss of his ward and local government – Oredo – to the opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. He marginally won his polling unit.
Chairman of the four-man Committee, Theophilus Okoh, had said the committee visited the three senatorial districts in the state and the local government areas to interact with party members who bought APC expression of interest forms, adding that the aspirants cooperated with the committee members.
While highlighting one of the recommendations by the committee to the effect that the party should refund the money spent by aspirants to purchase expression of interest forms, the chairman noted that “In the course of interacting with the aspirants, it was discovered that some of them are intelligent. We advise the government to consider ways of absorbing them into the system.”
Okoh stressed the need for the party to look out for causes of frictions in the party so as to proffer lasting solutions to all the issues at stake.