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Tuesday, 22 March 2016


The continuing saga surrounding the plot to unseat Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, as the national chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC,) is worrisome to the Concerned Edo Leaders of Thought (CELT). As a group, CELT, passionately seeks to ensure that justice is done to Edo people in a polity that marginalizes those whose interests are not properly protected and represented due to intimidation or other self-serving exigence, by the larger majority. As a result, in a country where fairness and justice is a scarce commodity, the marginalized group winds up being cheated out of benefits and from partaking in most aspects of national activities, as deserved and expected.
The general belief overtime, is that there is no smoke without fire. As such, we the people of Edo South, are sounding a note of concern and if you may, warning, that the alleged plan by Governor Adams Oshiomhole, to remove Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and succeed him after his tenure as a Governor, as reported by The New Telegraph of March 14, 2016 in its front page, will not be taken lightly by CELT.
According to the newspaper, the planned unseating of Chief Odigie-Oyegun, is slated for the APC’s Executive Committee meeting to be held in Abuja, on 24th March, 2016. There is no gainsaying the fact, that this attempt or move, will be met with resistance and the seriousness, it deserves.
It is a known fact, that Governor Oshiomhole, is plotting the removal of Chief Odigie-Oyegun, in order to impose and install Godwin Obaseki, as Governor and Clement Agba, as his deputy.  Clement Agba, is married to Obaseki’s younger sister and as such, the suspicion that this arrangement by the outgoing Governor, is meant to cover his tracks in office, as already being bandied around by citizens of the State, could be valid and true. As a Benin son, Godwin Obaseki, is one of us and we love him. However, we are not going to cut our nose to spite our faces, as the old adage goes. In no uncertain terms, CELT will resist, by all means necessary, this unfair and dishonorable arrangement to impose stooges on us.
In fact, since the story was reported in the New Telegraph, no attempt has been made by Governor Adams Oshiomhole, to deny or refute the allegation. It is unfortunate that a person of Prince Tony Momoh's antecedents in public life, a man with pedigree and a former Minister is being dragged into the plot. Sincerely, it is our hope, that the newspaper's allegation is not true. Time will tell and no matter the outcome, our position and support for Chief John Odigie-Oyegun remains unwavering.  
To avoid paying good with evil, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, must realize that the Benins, have been very supportive of him and his administration in his eight-year tenure as Governor of Edo State. We supported him massively, against our son to win a second term in 2012. All said and done, we must acknowledge that Governor Adams Oshiomhole, did well as a governor, and we are proud to have supported him.
It is against this backdrop, that we are calling on all Edo citizens in general and Benins in particular, at home and abroad, that the era of turning the other cheek is over and that we will resist this unwholesome machination to unseat a duly-elected Chairman of the ruling party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, for no apparent reason except that he is, a Benin man. Those who are in the know and complicit in this attempt at unseating the Chairman, must know that they cannot get away with this evil plan as the Benins, have news for them: it is not going to happen and most importantly, it will not be treated as, “business as usual.”  
By the Party’s constitution, the National Chairman is supposed to serve a 4-year term and it beats our imagination, why this hurried attempt at unseating him, when he has barely completed two years in office.
Chief Odigie-Oyegun, as National Chairman of the APC, midwifed the electoral victory of the present government. This feat is unprecedented, in the history of Nigeria, where an opposition party convincingly defeated an incumbent and seemingly invincible national party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP,) in the 2015 general elections.
Rather than being celebrated as a national hero, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun’s continued service to the nation and his party is being undermined by individuals who should be more supportive of him. More disheartening, is the fact that these individuals are from Chief Odigie-Oyegun’s part of the country.  Finally, we appeal to all peace loving Edos to rally round the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun to ensure that the plan to tarnish the impeccable public records of this great Benin son, does not materialize.

 Col. Paul Ogbebor (rtd), Chairman, CELT.
  Osagie Ayanru, Secretary, Sub-Committee (Publicity).

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