A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo, Charles Airhavbere, yesterday said a faction of the party was at loggerheads with Governor Godwin Obaseki because the governor has “refused to listen to voice of reason.’’
Airhavbere said Obaseki lacked interpersonal skills needed to make the difference in the exalted office. The party chieftain said the governor had resorted to use of raw power in dealing with his political associates, a development, he said, had alienated many APC stalwarts in the state.
Edo State is billed for governorship polls next August, in a high-stakes election, expected to be characterized by back-stabbing, violence and betrayals. Airhavbere, who contested the governorship with Obaseki in 2016, said the APC would never know peace in Edo with the way the governor is relating with other members of the party.
He said contrary to what Obaseki wanted people to believe, agitations in the state were not because of ‘stomach infrastructure’ or a quest for the resources of the state by the party members. “It was never about godfather and god-son struggling for the control of government or resources of the state.
“It is all about ensuring governance with human face and our resolve is to check the destructive approach to governance in Edo State and put our party on the path of moral rectitude, transparency and inclusion.
“The struggle is all about a governor who lacks interpersonal relationship skill; who is vindictive and repelled by the presence of his party members and without provocation, resorts to anger and pugnacious display of raw power,’’ he said.
Airhavbere said Obaseki had failed to fulfil his electoral promises and had refused to embrace dialogue, consultation, negotiation and compromise. “This is a governor who believes in all ramifications that he is above the people and who has suddenly become a tyrant.
“We cannot fold our arms and watch helplessly. With these traits, it is obvious the governor was never psychologically and emotionally prepared to be a leader.” He said APC members remained loyal to the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, assuring everything would be done to protect the party from people bent on destroying it.
Commissioner for Information, Paul Ohonbamu, said the intra-party crisis was a battle for dominance and liberation between the national chairman and the governor. He described the purported suspension of Obaseki and other people from the party as an exercise in futility.
The commissioner said Airhavbere and his group were being used to embarrass the governor, stressing that the governor was elected by the people and that the disgruntled APC members lacked powers to suspend him.