During their political honeymoon, Adams Oshiomhole called Godwin Obaseki the “brain and creativity” behind his administration in Edo State and anointed him as his successor.
Mr Obaseki became governor in 2016, while Oshiomhole became the national chairman of their party, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Shortly after Mr Obaseki assumed office, the political marriage between the two men began to unravel.
The rift was subtle at first, but it became obvious a year ago and grew worse almost by the day until their final divorce two weeks ago.
The first casualty was Mr Oshiomhole whose suspension by his local ward in Edo State, reportedly under the manipulation of the governor, was used in persuading a court to suspend him from office as the national chairman of the party.
Mr Obaseki would later get his own bitter pills when he was disqualified from the APC governorship primary for alleged inconsistencies in his academic credentials, a plot some observers believe was scripted by Mr Oshiomhole.
Ultimately, Mr Obaseki defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), where he immediately renewed his bid for reelection.
In the span of the crisis between the duo, and by extension within the APC, there were intrigues, sacks, litigations, threats, among others.
PREMIUM TIMES chronicles the events in the feud between Messrs Obaseki and Oshiomhole.
June 17, 2019 — Edo State House of Assembly inaugurated nine out of its 24 members-elect, drawing allegations that the exercise was to prevent Mr Oshiomhole’s loyalists among the members-elect from taking control of the legislature. The inauguration was rejected by the National APC.
June 23, 2019 — A chieftain of the APC in Edo, Charles Idahosa called for the resignation of Mr Oshiomhole as the APC national chairman.
July 4, 2019 — Governor Obaseki sacked eight of his commissioners who were allegedly loyal to Mr Oshiomhole.
July 10, 2019 — The National Assembly set up a committee to investigate the Edo Assembly crisis.
July 12, 2019 — At a rally in the state capital Benin, Mr Obaseki accused Mr Oshiomhole and his supporters of plotting to “invade” the state.
August 13, 2019 — Mr Obaseki paid a courtesy visit to Mr Oshiomhole, after attending a reception in honour of a former APC national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun who was celebrating his 80th birthday in Auchi.
September 12, 2019 — A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt stopped the National Assembly from interfering in the affairs of Edo State House of Assembly.
November 12, 2019 — Following a vote of no confidence passed by 18 chairmen of the state’s local government area chapters, Mr Oshiomhole was “suspended” by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State.
November 21, 2019 — A five-member committee led by Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje was appointed by APC’s National Working Committee (NWC) to resolve the crisis rocking the party in Edo State.
November 27, 2019 — 73 members of the APC South-South zone met Messrs Oshiomhole and Obaseki at an emergency caucus meeting, believed to be for reconciliation.
December 4, 2019 — The Edo House of Assembly ‘sacked’ 12 out of the 15 lawmakers-elect who were initially excluded from its inauguration in June.
December 27, 2019 — Mr Obaseki said Mr Oshiomhole remained suspended but if “he comes back remorseful and apologetic, we will consider taking him back.”
January 31, 2020 — In what appeared like a travel ban, Edo deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, said Mr Oshiomhole cannot enter the state without the permission of Mr Obaseki.
March 4, 2020 — An Abuja high court orders the suspension of Mr Oshiomhole, on the basis of his suspension by the Edo State chapter of the party.
March 5, 2020 — Mr Oshiomhole appeals his suspension.
March 12, 2020 — Four ministers from Nigeria’s south-south region reportedly endorsed the deputy national secretary of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Victor Gaidom, to replace Mr Oshiomhole as national chairman.
March 16, 2020 — The appeal court in Abuja adjourned Mr Oshiomhole’s suspension appeal indefinitely, halting the suspension.
April 25, 2020 — Frustrated about the lingering feud between his principal, Mr Obaseki, and Mr Oshiomhole the chief of staff to the governor, Taiwo Akerele, resigned. The same day, Osaze Uzamere was appointed as replacement.
June 8, 2020 — Further fuelling the protracted feud between them, Mr Obaseki said Mr Oshiomhole has been a disruption to the decision-making process of the APC in Edo state.
June 12, 2020 — Mr Obaseki was disqualified from the APC governorship primary on the basis of inconsistencies in his academic credentials.
June 16, 2020 — A three-member panel of the Abuja court of appeal affirmed the suspension of Mr Oshiomhole as APC national chairman, while also dismissing his appeal for lacking in merit.
June 16, 2020 — The deputy national chairman (south), Abiola Ajimobi, was appointed as the acting national chairman of the APC.
June 16, 2020 — After meeting President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, Mr Obaseki resigned from the All Progressives Congress (APC). Shortly after, his deputy, Philip Shaibu, followed suit.
June 19, 2020 — Mr Obaseki joined the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
June 20, 2020 — The secretary of ward 10 in Edo State, Emuakemeh Sule, lifted Mr Oshiomhole’s suspension, saying 17 members out of 26 signed the resolution. But the Ward’s chairman, Oshawo Stephen, dismissed the report.
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