OrderPaperToday– Acting leader of the House of Representatives, Peter Akpatason and former minority whip of the House of Representatives in the seventh assembly, Mr. Samson Osagie, have said the call for the stay of suspension of the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, from the state chapter of the party lacks basis.
Osagie, who is from Edo State, was reacting to a statement credited to the Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, that the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole from the party still stands until he apologises.
The governor had made the declaration during an expanded meeting with leaders of the APC from all the wards and local government areas in Edo North, held at Jattu-Uzaire, Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.
Reacting to the development via a telephone chat with OrderPaper correspondent, Mr. Osagie said the governor should not be taken seriously as he (the governor) was acting out of desperation in order to get sympathy from the people of Edo and Nigerians generally in a bid to clinch a second tenure.
He said: “I don’t think the governor should be taken seriously, the outburst is only a sign of desperation to get ticket for his second tenure which is not possible.
” Again, the governor does not have such powers to suspend a national chairman, let alone insisting that he should apologise. Under the constitution of the APC, it is almost an impossible task. It is only the NEC (National Executive Council) that can ask him (Oshomole) to resign or except he himself decides to tender his resignation.
“Let me also tell you that if the national chairman had assured him of his second tenure, you would not be hearing all this noise. However, the national chairman is a democrat and he can’t be swayed by the blackmail, rather he would see that the right thing is done according to the constitution of the party.
“No amount of harassment, cajoling, blackmail or intimidation of the national chairman would work for him (governor)”.
Commenting on whether the deepening crisis would impact negatively on the APC in the state, he said the party was stronger than before and expressed optimism in the party’s ability to win all future elections.
Osagie said: “The APC today is stronger than what it used to be. Once we are able to conduct successful primaries, every other thing would fall into place. I want to also assure that the APC is stronger to win all future elections”.
He further informed that the matter of the fourteen (14) members of the Edo State House of Assembly that were yet to be sworn in by the governor would soon be resolved as the matter was in court awaiting pronouncement.
“As regard the 17 members of the Edo State assembly that are not yet sworn in, it is a constitutional breach and the courts are looking at it and they would soon come out with a pronouncement on that.”
Also reacting to the issue, the acting majority leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Peter Akpatason (APC, Edo), described the governor’s statement as irrelevant and baseless.
“I’m not really interested in discussing irrelevant issues such as this because at the moment I am in my constituency enjoying the Christmas holidays with my people and, therefore, I cannot bring myself low to talk on an issue as trivial as the governor asking a national chairman of a party to apologise or remain suspended. Under which constitution does he derive his powers from? He is only making a caricature of himself. Under which laws can he suspend a national chairman? Rather, it is him, the governor, that stands suspended by the party”, Akpatason said.