Despite the dissolution of state party executives of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the crisis rocking the Edo State chapter of the party has not abated as two factions of the party have laid claim to the caretaker committee of the party.
The National Executive Council (NEC) of the ruling party on Tuesday dissolved all its executive committees across the states and zones in the country.
The Edo State chapter has had two factions since February 2020 ahead of the September 19 governorship election.
The two factions had Anselm Ojezua and David Imuse as chairperson.
While Mr Ojezua belongs to the faction loyal to Godwin Obaseki, the state governor, the Mr Imuse-led faction is loyal to the former National Chairperson of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt on Thursday that the faction led by Mr Ojezua held a meeting at the factional secretariat of the party, including members who have defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with Mr Obaseki. It was gathered that among things discussed at the meeting was whether they should remain in the party or exit completely to the PDP.
But members of the other faction led by Mr Imuse, a retired army officer, insisted that Mr Ojezua worked against the party during the last governorship election and was not qualified to remain a member of the party.
A member of the Mr Imuse-led faction, who preferred anonymity said, “I am shocked Ojezua would be laying claim to the party he wanted to destroy. He publicly worked against our party and the candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. With support from the governor, he opposed the defection of Ize-Iyamu into our party and denied him till the election.
“However, he was removed in line with the constitution of the party and ratified by the then NWC, so he lacks any right to speak about APC. His romance with Obaseki and other PDP leaders to destroy the APC is not hidden but our NEC has directed and we are waiting for further instructions.”
However, Mr Ojezua on Thursday said the APC NEC ought to have extended the expulsion to Mr Oshiomhole and Mr Ize-Iyamu, as it did to the former National Vice Chairman, South-South, of the party, Hilliard Eta.
He insisted that he remained the valid state chairperson of the party in Edo.
Mr Ojezua said, “We have given instructions to our counterparts at the lower levels of the party to make consultations. We are more interested in knowing the future of our party because you know this was the party to beat in Edo State in the past 12 years until Oshiomhole came and messed things up here, so it is not just enough to treat us the way they treated other states.
“This state needs proper attention; to a certain point it is in assessing the desires and wishes of the membership in Edo State and if they don’t do that, then we will now be wondering whether we are in the right association.
“Any leadership must be sensitive to the feelings of their people no matter how lowly placed we are, our membership is not inferior to any other membership anywhere in the country but if they begin to treat us as if we are the second rate then, of course, we will have to review our position.”
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