The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has again attacked his predecessor and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, as he countered the latter’s claim of not exhibiting the traits of a godfather in the state’s politics.
Mr Oshiomhole in a television interview on Friday said he felt ’embarrassed’ at the governor’s faction accusing him of plot to install himself as godfather despite his efforts to ensure peaceful coexistence in the state.
Mr Oshiomhole said he only nominated one commissioner in Mr Obaseki’s cabinet.
“If I wanted to be, then I will be nominating commissioners. I only persuaded him (Obaseki) to accept one commissioner from me; only one and I gave my reasons- because he was a founding member of my campaign organisation in 2006, Mika. Other than Mika, I did not nominate any Commissioner, I did not nominate any Special Adviser, Special Assistant because for me these are governance issues. So where is the godfather role coming from?” PREMIUM TIMES reported Mr Oshiomhole as saying.
In his reaction signed by his media aide, Crusoe Osagie, on Saturday, Mr Obaseki accused Mr Oshiomhole of falsifying facts over the nomination of commissioners.
He said: “Oshiomole did not only pick the governor, the deputy governor and Secretary to the State Government (SSG) in Edo State, he compiled the list of the state’s commissioners in his living room in 2016.”
“We are once again forced to call the attention of members of the public to Comrade Oshiomhole’s ability to compulsively falsify facts, especially on issues that are public knowledge, which underscores the content of his character and portends an existential threat to the survival of the APC and the impeccable integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is forced to continuously engage with Comrade Oshiomhole being the national chairman of his party.”
The Edo State Governor also accused Mr Oshiomhole of conniving with ‘some cronies’ in the presidency to carry out hasty appointment of board members of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) which “run afoul of due process and the constitution.”
The NDDC, set up in the year 2000, was an agency in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) until the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
The agency was moved to the Niger Delta Ministry headed by Godswill Akpabio. However, since his assumption of office, Mr Akpabio has lamented the height of corruption within the agency and described it as an ‘ATM’ where top officials steal public funds without being questioned.
It was in the midst of this controversy that Mr Buhari set up a probe committee and forwarded a list of board members to the National Assembly.
However, before their confirmation, Mr Akpabio announced an interim management team for the agency which was largely criticized by some of his party men.
Mr Buhari has since declared support for Mr Akpabio’s stance and cancelled the board nominees even though they had been cleared by the Senate.
Enmeshing Oshiomhole in NDDC Crisis
Enmeshing Mr Oshiomhole in this, Mr Osagie said if not for the timely decision of President Buhari, the initial plan of the APC National Chairman was to plant his stooges in the NDDC board for ease of access to fund to “finance the political tension in Edo State towards possibly seizing control of the Edo State government from Governor Obaseki.”
“He did not care whether the rules were followed or not; or for the integrity of the people being appointed. All he wanted was to achieve his aim and keep Edo State under his stranglehold as the new godfather.”
“Fortunately for Nigerians and Niger Delta people, our calm and methodical president, Muhammadu Buhari, has since seen through Comrade Oshiomhole’s mischief and ordered the forensic audit of the NDDC and the re-composition of the illegal board which Comrade Oshiomhole was trying to emplace,” he added.
Mr Obaseki, therefore, called on the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC to remove Mr Oshiomhole as he “lacks the moral rectitude to continue to function in the office of the National Chairman of the APC. The earlier this is done, the better for the party and Nigerians.”
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