APC governors, others move to reconcile Oshiomhole, Obaseki

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• Abiodun, Zulum champion peace move

• ‘PDP must not return to power in Edo’

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All Progressives Congress (APC) governors have resolved to check the slide in their party by reconciling warring National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole and Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Some of the governors, it was learnt, have decided to sink their own differences with Oshiomhole in order to reconcile him and Obaseki in the party’s larger interest.

Sources said they are worried that if they do not act now it may cost the party the Edo State governorship election coming up next year.

Governors Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Babagana Zulum (Borno) are spearheading the peace move. Though seen as Oshiomhole loyalists, they are said to have convinced their colleagues on the need to close rank in the party’s interest, citing what happened in Zamfara and Rivers states in the last general elections. The party was disqualified from the governorship election in both states because of internal crisis.

The governors are working with some concerned party leaders and chieftains from the South-south to end the Edo crisis.

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Their mission is to ensure that Obaseki’s second term does not hit the rocks in order not to split the party and allow the opposition to carry the day in the 2020 governorship poll in the state.

They are afraid that his face off with Oshiomhole may jeopardise his second term bid and endanger the party’s chances in the election. There have been calls from some quarters for  Oshiomhole’s resignation because of the crisis.

The defection of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship election Pastor Osagie Ize-iyamu who Obaseki defeated in the 2016 governorship poll to APC is fueling talks that he may pick the ruling party’s ticket for the 2020 election.

Ize-Iyamu is believed to have the support of some allies of Oshiomhole. “Some allies of Oshiomhole have assured Ize-Iyamu of the ticket as a replacement for Obaseki,” a source said yesterday.

But the source added: “There are serious moves to end the crisis. Obaseki and Oshiomhole must be re-united. That is the only way to ensure peace in Edo. Many people, including some APC governors, have waded in. And it is not yet too late for the issue to be resolved.

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“Following the series of meetings held in Abuja last week, I can categorically tell you that we have resolved to end the crises in the party and the one in Edo is very central to resolving many of the issues at hand. APC governors and other party leaders are in the forefront of the re-energised effort to end the rift.

“Those championing the new move are largely pro-Oshiomhole governors. They believe both Oshiomhole and Obaseki are crucial to the success of the party in the forthcoming governorship election in the state. They are also of the opinion that the issues between the two can be resolved in the interest of the party. More so, while they are strongly committed to ensuring that Oshiomhole remains in office as national chairman, they also see Obaseki as a brother governor who merely needs to be reconciled to his predecessor”.

The Nation gathered that at a meeting of APC governors to adopt a position on Oshiomhole, those for him urged their governors to unite and not divide the party. “Nearly all the governors, about six of them, who argued endlessly in support of Oshiomhole at the Abuja meetings, are of the opinion that the two gladiators of Edo APC should be reconciled.

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