Edo APC crisis: How Fayemi Committee’s peace efforts collapsed

Posted by Emma Amaize and Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu | 4 August 2019 | 3,845 times

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•Governor Obaseki and Ex-Governor Oshiomhole

Attempts by the Governor Kayode Fayemi Peace Committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to mend the cracks in the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State, especially the alleged rancour between Governor Godwin Obaseki and the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, have collapsed. 

Sunday Vanguard learned that members of the committee, including Fayemi, who is the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State and business magnate, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, were unhappy at the development.

The last straw was the abortion of their decision to come to Benin-City, Edo State, last Sunday, to meet with stakeholders of the party and feuding lawmakers to resolve the issues. It was the collapse of the peace efforts that made the Senate, which earlier gave a window for a political resolution of the matter, slam a one-week ultimatum, last Tuesday, on Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of Edo State House of Assembly.

We gathered that at the meeting held in Ekiti House, penultimate Monday, the committee stated its position that they wanted to make peace, if possible, resolve the matter politically without having to compel anybody to do anything. Asked to state in what ways Oshiomhole had wronged him, Obaseki allegedly mentioned the national chair’s alleged penchant for mobilising against him (governor) in Abuja for the cancellation of the primaries conducted by him (Obaseki), last year, as if he was not the governor of the state.

Sources told Sunday Vanguard that el-Rufai knelt down for nearly 30 minutes at the meeting begging Obaseki not to allow anybody to ill-advise him and that the matter required a continued dialogue with Oshiomhole even if he does not agree with his predecessor. The Kaduna governor reportedly said he came to the meeting at the instance of Buhari, who would want the matter resolved with a fresh proclamation, especially with the crisis the party was also facing in Bauchi State.

His argument was that the Presidency, APC and the governors wanted the right thing done in Edo before they could take on the Bauchi matter, where Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, benefited from the scenario that the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, averted in Edo, which Obaseki was grumbling about.

El-Rufai spoke about how he had to dialogue with the party’s NWC and the Presidency on his problem with Senator Shehu Sani. He also alluded that a national leader of the party, Alhaji Bola Tinubu, had to succumb to the NWC position even after they had conducted primaries in Lagos.

Oshiomhole reportedly showed the fruitless text messages he sent to the governor and his deputy requesting a meeting for them to come to a table to resolve the problem without reaction. He maintained that he could not destroy the house that he built and they blocked his attempts to ensure peace.

Other governors, including Fayemi and Bagudu, reportedly said they stand with el-Rufai, saying they would come to Benin-City, last Sunday, to meet with stakeholders, members of the House of Assembly and, in fact, everybody connected to the matter in the state to end the crisis. They also agreed to work out a position on the Speaker of the House, but Obaseki allegedly stated that he would be unavailable last Sunday for the meeting.

“It is at this point that the meeting broke down because it became clear that there will be no headway and that is why the Senate, which gave a window for the political option to be taken, had to concur with an earlier resolution of the House of Representatives on the mater,” our source revealed.

“President Buhari is aware of the developments and had expressed his wish on fresh proclamation before the Senate finally issued a directive to the effect.

“Nothing really happened at the meeting that was to hold at the Transcop Hilton Hotel in Abuja, as it did not really hold because of intrigues.”

•Excerpted from a Sunday Vanguard report.

Source: News Express

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