It was a day of suspension on Tuesday as the crisis in the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) gets messier.
The battle for the soul of the party ahead of next year’s governorship election has pit National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole against Governor Godwin Obaseki.
In the latest twist, loyalists of the governor suspended Oshiomhole for “being behind the crisis” rocking the party in the state.
The state executive suspended its Chairman Anselm Ojezua, whose supporters in return suspended Secretary Lawrence Okah before announcing that they had suspended the national chairman.
However, the party’s 18 local government chairmen pronounced a vote of confidence in Obaseki and requested the National Working Committee (NWC) to expel Oshiomhole from the party.
The 18 Local Government Chairmen of the party debunked the purported vote of no confidence passed on Oshiomhole.
In a statement signed by Etsako West and Etsako Central chairmen Ibrahim Akokia and Suleman Bagude on behalf of the others, said: “We are the chairmen of the party in the 18 LGAs and we are not aware of the meeting where a vote of no confidence was passed on the national chairman of our party, Comrade Oshiomhole, who is doing very well.
“Rather, we are aware that majority of the chairmen haven suffered intimidation, harassment and assault in the hands of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration, what we have never seen in the politics of our dear state.
“Therefore, we have passed a vote of no confidence in Governor Obaseki and the suspended state chairman of the party, Anslem Ojezua.
“They have not only failed the party but the people of the state. Besides, from the disclosure from some PDP leaders, Obaseki and Ojezua have been involved in anti-party activities, therefore, they lack the moral rights to remain in this party.”
In a statement, Ojezua said Oshiomhole is suspended over his role in the crisis rocking the party in the state.
The APC Chairman in Esan Central Council and Secretary, Edo State APC Chairmen Forum, Mike Anakaso, added that the chairmen passed a vote of no confidence on Oshiomhole for his role in trying to disintegrate the party in Edo.
They said the vote of no confidence was passed by the party chairmen in the 18 Local Government Areas.
The statement, jointly signed by the Assistant State Secretary, Ikuenobe Anthony, added: “Consequent on the development, the State Executive Committee has adopted the vote of no confidence passed on him and the subsisting suspension order from the organs of the party in the state.
“Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is the one behind the crisis in Edo APC. We have passed a vote of no confidence in him and he stands suspended from the party.
“We don’t want what happened in Zamfara State or other parts of the country to happen in Edo State.”
The State Executive Council had earlier removed state secretary Okah after Edo APC got wind of his alleged plot to remove Ojezua.
Okah was said to have collated signatories of some executive members at his residence.
His plot was blown when the Auditor, Timothy Osadolor, returned the N1million he was allegedly given to sign the vote of no confidence notice on Ojezua.
Osadolor, who distanced himself from the document purporting to remove Ojezua, said they were taken in a commando-style to Okah’s residence, where they were forced to sign the document.
Giving details of the incident, the auditor explained that they were invited by a colleague for a meeting, from where they were whisked to Okah’s residence.
Osadolor said he was threatened and asked to sign the document if he wanted to leave the residence alive.
The Financial Secretary, Princess Golda Oribhabor-Onwuka, said she signed the document under duress.