Saturday, 9 July 2016
Ojiezua Lied against Oyegun
A Text of Press Briefing BY EDO STATE PUBLICITY SECRETARY OF ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS APC, COMRADE GODWIN ERHAHON, ON JULY 8, 2016 IN BENIN CITY.
My Respected Colleagues, Gentlemen of the Press.
Thank you most sincerely for responding to my invitation to this briefing at such a short notice. I called you to hear my reactions to the content of the interview granted by my State Chairman, Mr. Anselm Ojezua which was published on page 38, of last Saturday Vanguard Newspaper in which he attempted with obvious malice and naked falsehood to discredit and disparage our able National Chairman and first Executive Governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. I waited this long because I expected Mr. Ojezua to deny some of the false assertions that were credited to him in the interview. Several group of Chief Oyegun’s loyalists and sympathizers approached me in protest against the interview and threatened street protests but I calmed them down with the promise that if Mr. Ojezua refused to correct himself within a reasonable time, I will react to put the record straight as an insider.
Before delving into the area affecting Chief Oyegun in the interview, let me quickly observe that for a State Chairman who claims to be seeking reconciliations of aggrieved parties with the party to refer to Engineer Chris Ogiemwonyi and Barrister Ken Imasuangbon, the two aspirant who are seeking redress though due process, as mischievious, is in itself a wild demonstration of mischief and it rubbished the purported bid for reconciliation.
Above all, it exposed the immaturity and bias of the State Chairman himself.
Mr. Ojezua accused the National Working Committee of our great Party of isolating the State Government and the State Executive Committee from the process leading to the primaries. He grumbled that forms were sold at the National Secretariat instead of the State Secretariat. Gentleman of the press, you were witnesses to the fact that at the beginning of the process our State Governor openly expressed preference for a particular aspirant out of about fifteen of them.
In fanatic pursuit of the governor’s preference, the State Chairman and some of the State Officials became vicious campaigners for the “preferred aspirants” with unbearable hostilities towards others. With such unprecedented bias and hostility from the officials who ought to be co-umpires in the process, the National Working Committee took the right decision to exclude the State EXCO and bypass the State Secretariat headed by those biased and hostile officials from the entire process.
The hostilities of the State Chairman and his group were so vicious that till date, they still keep malice with those who visited the Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Odubu, then the leading governorship aspirant, after some sponsored gunmen attacked his campaign rally at Auchi and shot six persons including one of his police orderly, an inspector, who lost an eye to the gun shots. The Chairman has not called or visited the Deputy Governor till date. Besides, soon after the “preferred aspirant “came to campaign to the State Executive, the Chairman refused access to other aspirants to the State Secretariat to campaign. How then would the National Working Committee have allowed nomination form to be sold at the State Secretariat that had been declared a no-go-area to other aspirants?
It is instructive to State here that till now, neither the Governor nor the State Chairman has discussed their preference of an aspirant with the National Chairman who hails from Edo State. Nor have they mentioned it to Prince Tony Momoh another national leader of the party who hails from Edo State. The State Chairman never discussed it with the State Executive Committee either. Rather, they wanted everybody to obey the governor’s preference as law without questioning. You can see how they misled Mr. Obaseki and made more enemies for him within his party.
Mr. Ojezua lied when he alleged that Chief Oyegun mutilated the delegates register for the primaries. The National Headquarters, headed by Chief Oyegun only resisted attempt by the State Chairman and his agents to smuggle names of selected members of the campaign organization of their preferred aspirant into the register as replacement for those who have left the party as delegates, including party officials who were not supporting their preferred aspirant.
This was after the State Working Committee resolved that there should be no replacement of delegate till after the primaries. I challenge Mr. Ojuzua to show evidence, if any of a meeting where the State Working Committee reversed itself on the decision to disallow replacement of delegates.
Rather, the State Chairman substituted the State Executive Committee with the Campaign Committee of the preferred aspirant. He never discussed with the Executive of the Party at any level except with the said Campaign organization even after the preferred aspirant has emerged candidate and when effort ought to have been made to bring all hands on deck. It is no longer secret to insiders that till this moment, Mr. Ojuzua is still instigating most members of the Campaign organization of the preferred aspirant, an organization that ought to have terminated with the primaries to refuse reconciliation with the officers whom they mischievously suspended.
Were Chief Oyegun as petty as Mr. Ojezua, he would have dissolved the State Executive Committee since or suspended Mr. Ojezua. After all, for daring to agitate for the sanction of those who openly worked for PDP for the March 28, 2015 Presidential/National Assembly election in Esan Central Local Government Area where Mr. Ojezua hails from, the Chairman of Esan Central Ward one, Mr. Ikhine was summarily and unconstitutionally removed by him without reference to the Local Government Area, Senatorial District and State Working Committee of the party through which the disciplinary process of any Ward officer is supposed to pass.
Mr. Ojezua quickly silenced those seeking sanctions of those who sabotaged voting for President Buhari because he was one of them hence he lost his unit, Ward, LGA and Senatorial District at that election. And inspite of his current position, he can not win his unit come September 10. At the time Mr. Ikhine moved for the sanction of the saboteurs Mr. Ojezua was already hustling for Federal appointment from the Presidency.
Is it not ridiculous for Mr. Ojezua to have confessed in that interview that he complained to the Deputy National Chairman on the way the preliminaries to the Edo State Governorship primaries were being handled by the National Working Committee instead of the National Chairman himself who is from Edo State? The fact is that, he was afraid to meet Chief Oyegun who knew all that he was doing wrong in Edo State.
Mr. Ojezua was trying to hide the facts of how badly he has belittled the State Executive Committee of the Party when he boasted that he set up a reconciliation committee soon after the primaries whereas it was the Governor who set up the committee with a member of the Board of Trustees, Prince Malik Afegbua as Chairman and six members drawn mainly from the campaign organization of their preferred aspirants who were among those who caused the grievances.
The committee was a still-birth because most members dare not meet the aggrieved aspirants and leaders whom they offended in different ways. If Mr. Ojezua expected them to succeed, he would not have condemned the most aggrieved aspirants whom they were supposed to appease as “mischievous” in his interview under reference.
Gentlemen of the press, it was from some of you that I learnt that the statement announcing the purported suspension of the State Vice Chairman (Edo South), Barrister Gentleman Amegor was released to the press from the office of the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor. Some of you called to confirm the suspension from me as the State Publicity Secretary whose responsibility it ought to be to announce such suspension if it was genuine. That was how I heard of it.
Were you therefore surprised that the lifting of the suspension was also announced by the governor himself and not the party executive? Today, reconciliation of aggrieved leaders and officers is more complex than the campaign for the election itself as I rightly predicted because some persons are impersonating God and refusing to humble themselves and penitently apologize to those they have offended and whose support we now seriously need to win the election.
I decided to bare my mind on these issues today because they threaten the chances of APC in the September 10 governorship election and I believe that the public deserve to hear the truth. I see the vicious outburst of Mr. Ojezua on Chief Oyegun as a part of attempt to discredit him. It seems to me part of a scheme to bring down those Benin leaders who have risen above state level. As I hinted earlier, I am aware that some groups from across the state are planning to protest against the unjustifiable attack on Chief Oyegun if by tomorrow, Mr. Ojezua fails to retract his statements. They see it as the voice of his master, not his.
As a Benin son, I will not keep silent while the heroes of my fatherland are being pulled down. Enough is enough!