The Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has moved from one storm to another. This is as the state Secretary of the party, Lawrence Okah, has been suspended.
Okah was suspended at an emergency meeting of the State Executive Committee, Friday.
State party Chairman, Barrister Anslem Ojezua, said Okah was suspended to allow the committee set up to investigate the allegation against him from his local government.
Ojezua said the suspension of Okah was not a punitive measure but a normal administrative procedure of the party.
“He was just suspended to allow the committee set up to look at the complaints against him. We have not expelled him, no it is not like that. The suspension is not punitive it is just a normal administrative procedure.
Ojezua had earlier said the party would not allow any parallel group within Edo APC saying that such group is cancerous.
“Anybody that is organising a parallel group in the party will have to contend with us. There is no better way to destroy a party than to encourage fractionalization. That one we have zero tolerance for and the constitution provides very expressly that it is not acceptable and we will deal with it,” he said.
Governor Godwin Obaseki had said he would flush out those considered as dissidents from the party.
Speaking at the inauguration of the board of Edo Development and Property Authority, Obaseki praised members of Edo APC that has remained faithful to the party in the state but vowed to flush out any dissident APC member in the state.
“I want to thank those APC members that have remained committed. You know we have not wasted government money. We are progressives because we want to make tomorrow better for our children. Many have derailed. We thank God they have derailed because their hearts were not pure.
“We will flush them out. We own the land. We determine who our leader will be. Nobody can come here and impose on us who we don’t want,” he said.
Recall, the Governor has so far suspended four local government chairmen. Esrlier in the week, Obaseki sacked all supervisory councellors, secretaries, special assistants in all the 18 local government areas in the state.
However, persons suspected to the thugs have taken over the party secretariat along Airport Road in Benin.
The suspended Okah said that he received such a letter but that it is of no effect because the chairman does not have such powers. “It is only the party that can do that and it must get the approval of the National Secretariat. I am here watching them”, he said.
He said he was accused of being a member of the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) which has been clamouring for a replacement for Governor Obaseki ahead of 2020 governorship election.
It was gathered that the plot to suspend Okah has been on as Governor Obaseki sees him as an ally to the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.