…As state publicity scribe accuses him of almost running party aground
The embattled factional chairman of Edo state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Anselm Ojezua may be expelled from the party for alleged anti-party activities. The state publicity secretary of the party, Chris Azebamwan gave an indication to this effect in a press statement on Friday. Azebamwan said though suspended, Ojezua’s continued refusal to submit himself to the authority of constituted organs of the party, and his recent pronouncements at a press conference he addressed Monday, December 16 calling for the resignation of the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole amounted to anti-party activities “for which the penalty is expulsion, and appropriate recommendations will be made to the National Convention through the National Working Committee of our party to that effect”. Ojezua had last month been ousted from the party and an acting chairman named to replace him. He had however continued to sit tight in the office of state chairman.
Azebamwan described as not just comic but “such a sad spectacle to see Anselm Ojezua struggling not to vacate the office from which he was legally and constitutionally removed on 11th November 2019”, stressing that the national working committee, NWC and the national executive committee, NEC have since recognised David Imuse, a retired army colonel, as the Acting Chairman of APC, Edo State. According to the state publicity scribe, “for the avoidance of doubt Anselm Ojezua is no longer State Chairman. He should stop arrogating powers to himself that he no longer possesses. Anselm Ojezua’s call for the National Chairman to resign is an attack on his person and his exalted office, and amounts to the highest level of insubordination and unbridled arrogance” adding that “traits such as these made him almost run our party aground within the last three years”. Azebamwan noted that this was one of the reasons other members of the state working committee came to the rescue and removed him with a vote of no confidence.
Taunting Ojezua, Azebanmwan said “it is actually ironical that the same Anselm Ojezua who presided over meetings at which Mr. Gentleman Amegor was removed as State Vice Chairman (Edo South), Comrade Osakpamwan Eriyo (aka nomoless) was removed as State Youth Leader, and more recently, Comrade Godwin Erhahon was removed as State Publicity Secretary, all three gentlemen via the same instrument of a vote of no confidence by their colleagues and peers. The question is why can’t Ojezua take the same pill which he so joyfully gave to others to swallow?” He said the answer to this question lay at the very heart of his “selfish determination to factionalize a Party which he had the very rare privilege of leading”.
While positing that it must be obvious to everyone that “antics such as Ojezua has displayed can only be done by someone who has perfected plans to defect to another political party” Azebamwan accused the factional chairman of making “a futile and despicable attempt to set up a parallel structure which he hopes (in his dreams, however), to use as a bargaining tool in his planned defection”.
The APC publicity secretary appealed to members of the public, especially members of the party not to lend themselves to Ojezua and “his co-travelers” in their alleged desperate attempt to unleash violence and bloodshed in pursuit of their political ambition. Recalling their recent attempts to block the defection of Osagie Ize-Iyamu to APC “through an orchestrated violence”, and blame it on the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Azebamwan described it as “the lowest any set of human beings could go in depravity”. He also described as alarming and worrisome to all lovers of peace, the recent spike in incidents of violence and civil unrest in the state. “We refer in particular to the venomous attacks on the person and premises of Adams Oshiomhole at Benin City and at Iyamho, the disgraceful incident at the convocation ceremony at Edo University, the separate attacks at the private residences of Hon. Isaac Osahon, Hon. Abdul Oroh, Hon. Osarobo, and the siege at the exit gate of the Benin Airport; these are indications that the handlers of Governor Obaseki should be called to account”.
On a conclusive note, Azebamwan said “our position is not about Governor Godwin Obaseki and his declared ambition for a second term. It is by far too early. INEC has not released guidelines for Edo elections, so why heat up the political space prematurely? This is about APC retaining its winning ways and we did not then, and we still do not see Ojezua as part of that picture, hence his ouster. Ojezua is an individual and cannot be bigger than the rest of us put together. We urge all APC faithful to put on their thinking cap and allow Ojezua take his ignoble ignominious exit. We say enough is enough”
But when contacted, Ojezua insisted he remained the chairman of the APC in the state. He said Imuse who is recognised by the national leadership of the party as the acting chairman of the party in the state does not exist.