Friday Otabor, Benin

INSISTING that Obaseki holds the levers in the state, Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, dismissed as remarks ascribed to Oshiomhole’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS) that there was crisis in the state chapter of the party.

Describing Ebegbulem’s comment as false, Osagie said in a statement that “Governor Obaseki and the leaders and members of the APC have a cordial and robust working relationship.

“Obaseki is providing effective leadership for the party in the state and therefore, the allegation that there is a plan to leave the party is totally false.

“Presently, Governor Obaseki is the Vice Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), a forum of all the governors elected under the platform of the APC across the country.

“He commands tremendous respect within the party at the national level and has a fabulous working relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the leader of the APC.

“Why will the governor leave a place of certainty for uncertainty? Is it not clear from these verifiable facts that all these allegations are completely false? We urge all well-meaning Nigerians to disregard these quibbling as noise from irrelevant entities trying hard to gain political relevance.”

Also on Tuesday, the Obaseki/Shaibu Movement (OSM) urged the party’s national chairman to stop heating up the polity.

The movement urged Oshiomhole to rein in his followers from peddling falsehood with the intent to destabilising the state.

In a statement by its leader, Damian Lawani, the group said the Obaseki-led administration created and sustained a peaceful and orderly state governed by the rule of law.

It warned that any attempt to return the state to a time of chaos would resisted.

Lawani said: “We urge Oshiomhole to caution his people from peddling falsehood of a non-existent attack on him or his residence. The Commissioner of Police in the state has come out to debunk the alleged attack. So, it is best for them to cease from spreading such an allegation. They should stop heating up the polity.”

Throwing the group’s weight behind the ban on thuggery in the state, he said: “We are totally in support of the ban on thuggery. We are better off for such a decision because market women and other business owners are no longer harassed by touts and dispossessed of their hard-earned monies in the name of revenue collection. With the new electronic system, everything is seamless.”

The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Taiwo Akerele, has warned that the political scenarios building up in Edo State, if not tamed, could derail the nation’s democracy.

He likened the situation to what happened in the defunct Midwest Region when political struggle between two individuals led to a national crisis that culminated to the civil war.

Akerele told a news conference in Benin City that he would not keep quiet and allow “those who never took risk, either openly or secretly, to fight the military to appropriate democracy to themselves, their pockets and their cronies.”

He warned mischief makers with machinery of violence who are being aided by personalities in high places that “those who genuinely fought for democracy are still alive, hale and healthy and capable of defending democracy all over again till all pseudo anti-renegades are defeated”.

Akerele said he spoke in his capacity as democracy activist and concerned citizen of the state who is angry because of unfolding dangerous political scenario in the state.

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