Supporters of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, in the Edo State, have advised Chief John Odigie-Oyegun to stop acting like the mouthpiece of the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
They gave the advice in a statement signed by their spokesperson, Chris Azebamwan, on Thursday.
Odigie-Oyegun, who is the immediate past national chairman of the APC, had on Wednesday condemned some persons and group fermenting trouble in the Edo State APC.
He had declared support for Obaseki’s second term ambition, saying he had done well in his first term.
Odigie-Oyegun had also expressed delight that President Muhammadu Buhari had endorsed Obaseki and his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akerodolu, for second term.
Reacting however, to Odigie-Oyegun’s position, Oshiomhole’s supporters debunked the claims that an agreement had been reached to give automatic tickets to the two incumbent governors.
They held that it was not in their character to take “an elder to task’’ especially one who recently turned 80 and paraded several credentials including being a former federal super -permanent secretary and national chairman of a major political party.
However, they said they were at a loss “to understand why Chief Odigie-Oyegun would make utterances that portray him as a mouthpiece or hireling of Godwin Obaseki.”
They assured though, that the forthcoming primaries in Edo State would be credible because it would not serve anyone’s interest to compromise the process, “and in so doing, give room for the courts to intervene and upturn the results.”
The group stressed that the leadership of the APC was determined to conduct credible primaries and challenged the former national chairman to name those he alleged were trying to cause a crisis in the state.
Azebamwan said, “The more worrisome part of Pa Odigie-Oyegun’s outburst is his claim that as part of the reconciliation process, an automatic ticket was promised Godwin Obaseki.
“To the best of my knowledge, Chief Odigie-Oyegun was not at the meeting where reconciliation was discussed. He is no longer a principal officer of the APC, and is in no position therefore, to lay claims to the inner workings of the party.
“One wonders why the National Reconciliation Committee headed by Chief Bisi Akande would have needed to be set up, if positions had been taken on crucial issues like the ticket for the Edo State governorship election.
“We operate a democratic dispensation and Pa Odigie-Oyegun should allow the process throw up the best man for the job instead of attempting to throw a spanner in the works by promoting his personal opinion and the desperate ambition of Godwin Obaseki as decisions or resolutions of our party leadership.
“He is an elder statesman and should not allow himself to be dragged into the fray. That would be a tragic fall from the high pedestal to which we are accustomed to place him.”