Edo 2016: Between A Governor And His Deputy | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Edo 2016: Between A Governor And His Deputy

Posted: May 6, 2016 at 3:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


BENIN- It started as a rumour but it thereafter metamorphosed into a canon fodder whose impact, whenever it eventually lands, could run against the course of peaceful co-existence and good neighbourliness.

The issue is the raging cold war between Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the governor of Edo State and his deputy, Hon. Pius Odubu.

As events keep unfolding, many political analysts are asking if  the ‘war’ can still be described as a cold one. Also residents of Edo are asking ‘Who are those fuelling this crisis and who are those benefitting from it?’. About two weeks ago, the grapevine was flooded with the report that a closed door peace meeting was held with the aim of reuniting the warring parties in the internal strife that many fear may snowball into an electoral tragedy for the APC in the September 10 governorship election if not well managed beforehand.

What is interesting about the whole issue was how details of what was supposed to be a ‘closed door’ meeting became a topic of discussion in many open spaces in the state barely a few hours after the meeting was held. The highlights of the leaked details of the ‘closed door’ meeting according to unconfirmed reports  was that the meeting which was meant to resolve the internal crisis plaguing the party turned out to be the opportunity Comrade Oshiomhole allegedly used to expose some salient issues that has been at the core of the cold war between him and Odubu.

The governor is reported to have revealed that if not for some backbiting and character assassination that were been practiced by some of his aides against his deputy, there really would not have been any problem between them. Some of his revelations were quite shocking and unbecoming. Barely 48 hours later, Hon. Odubu came out to refute the allegation that he was plotting to kill his boss through diabolic means.

A few days thereafter, the deputy governor officially told the populace about his intention to succeed his boss by September 10. Like it ordinarily ought to be, many of those who support his ambition were on hand to exhibit their loyalty and to be counted. Barely a few hours later, the gist filtered into town that more than a dozen of those who are political appointees of the governor and who were conspicuously present at the flag-off were given the booth.

One of the victims, Curtis Eghosa Ugbo, told Independent from a hospital bed that his problem with the governor started when he advised him to soft-pedal on showing open support for any of the aspirants seeking for the party’s gubernatorial ticket. He stated that about a week later the governor revealed his choice as successor and thereafter started witch-hunting those he perceived as not in support of his anointed candidate. On Saturday, April 30, when Odubu went to do the formal flag-off of his campaign in Etsako West Local Government Area of the state which incidentally is the homestead of Comrade Oshiomhole he allegedly escaped assassination while addressing the party delegates inside the party secretariat in the town. According to reports emanating from his camp, he was the target of unidentified gunmen who shot at him.

The bullets meant to either kill or maim him were said to have been lodged in the body of one of security details with about four others seriously injured. Some 24 hours later the government refuted the plan to assassinate claim by Odubu through a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Kassim Afegbua. In it’s allegation the Odubu camp had alleged that there were subterranean plots to stop the delegates from attending the meeting with Odubu.

However, the government claimed that the fracas was a fallout of the internal crisis in the Odubu camp, adding that the Odubu team imported truck loads of miscreants to the event. On another parallel, an eye witness, one Mallam Yakubu Momodu, the youth leader of the APC in the local government, stressed that Odubu triggered the attack on himself. According to him, “members of the deputy governor’s convoy arrived at the party secretariat and took over all the available space. By the time we mobilized the delegates back to the secretariat the whole place had been taken over by the large campaign team of Odubu. “We all left when we waited and the campaign people did not come. But when we heard that they had come we went back to meet them. “The delegates he came to see were now prevented from gaining entrance into the small hall with his security aides blocking the main entrance.It was in the midst of the pushing and shoving to enter the hall that a policeman attached to the convoy of Odubu fired some shots to scare people away.One of the shots hit a party member who came for the meeting which resulted in pandemonium,” he narrated.