A former national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has reiterated his commitment to thwart Governor Godwin Obaseki’s re-election bid.
“I am back and ready for the job,” Vanguard newspaper quoted Mr Oshiomhole as saying to a large crowd of supporters who met him on his way to Iyamho village from Benin City, the state capital, late Saturday night.
Recently, Mr Oshiomhole was named among a 49-member committee, led by the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, for the APC campaign in Edo State. The move is seen by many as an avenue for the former national chairman to redeem his political image both in the state and among the party leaders.
Until their relationship went south, Mr Obaseki was the former Edo governor’s political protege and anointed successor. Mr Obaseki’s candidacy was sold to the electorate in 2016 as the “brain and creativity” behind the achievements of Mr Oshiomhole’s administration.
Before the dissolution of Mr Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) at last APC emergency NEC meeting, the rancour between the two former political darlings topped the list of party’s internal wrangling.
From political darling to ‘snake’
While addressing his supporters, Mr Oshiomhole likened the personality of the Edo incumbent governor to “snake that entered our family home”.
“I have come home to join you and start the process of reclaiming the house back to the family of APC. What gives me joy is that, as they say, he with God is majority and if the people say yes and God says yes there is no man born of a woman that can say no.
“When I became governor of this state, I was not the chairman of anything. I had left the presidency of the NLC.
“Now I have only one mission and I am sure it is our common mission; our common vision to bring Edo back to the part of sustainable development.
“We want to bring back the era of red roof; we want to bring back roads with drainages; we want to bring back those lofty days when we engage our youths and we mix-up with the elders.
“We want to return to the government of the people by the people and for the people,” he reportedly told his supporters.
Mr Obaseki resigned his membership of the ruling APC after he was declared ineligible to contest at the party’s just concluded governorship primary, by the APC screening panel in Abuja. He blamed his ordeal on his conflict with Mr Oshiomhole, who was then the party chairman.
Having clinched the PDP main opposition governorship ticket, he will be facing Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the newly annointed candidate the APC.
With the exit of Mr Obaseki from the APC to PDP, the ruling party lost its last foothold in the South-south region of the country.