Group warns APC on imposition, as Achigbe woos Usani

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Mrs. Maria Udenwachi , member representing Afikpo North Constituency, Ebonyi State House of Assembly (left); Presidential Aspirant on the platform of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, national financial Secretary, Mr. Okwudili Egwu-Isu and others during the ANN presidential aspirant’s visit to Afikpo, recently

Benin youths under auspices of Coalition of Benin Young Leaders (BYL), have expressed concerns over the forthcoming general election in the state, particularly the Edo South Senatorial District, alleging that plans are afoot by the national chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, to impose senatorial candidate on the district.

This is just as the recently inaugurated APC chairman for Cross River State, Mr. Mathew Achigbe, waved the olive branch to the Minister of Niger Delta, Pastor Usani Usani and his supporters, urging them to join hands with him in the interest of the party.

Achigbe also appealed to members to drop the habit of identifying any individual asa party leader in the state, stressing that the party has not yet chosen a leader.

The party chairman, who made the remarks shortly after his arrival from his first attendance at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party in Abuja, also appealed to Pastor Usani and his supporters to come back to the fold.

Insisting that it would amount to suicide for the minister to leave APC, Achigbe said: “We have a large heart to accommodate and to take care of ourselves.

In fact, today we spoke one on one and I was very elated that he was very receptive.

He is a man of his own and he will take a decision very soon.

I won’t give him even an inch to breathe; I will continue to appeal to him because where will he go?

He has to belong to his own party. He is a progressive, so I know that he would remain in APC.

“The only appeal is that he should be more fatherly as a leader. He should make sure that he has a large heart to accommodate others.

We cannot divide this party at this critical time in our history, so I believe from my interaction with him, he is going to take some other issues into consideration and he will be part and parcel of this big family.

“When I say that I am interested in peace, I hope to pursue this matter to a logical conclusion and ensure that our minister returns to the fold, in fact I have never imagined otherwise, I don’t even see where he will go, in fact to go outside APC is to commit suicide.

How many ministers do we have that we will allow him to go and commit suicide in the name of going elsewhere? He is going to be part and parcel of APC.”

The chairman appealed to members not to split their heads over who the leader of our party is, informing them that within the shortest time possible, “I am going to put together the state caucus of the party and all of us within that forum will agree on who our party leaders are.”

He added: “In fact it is wrong for an individual to go into his bedroom and come out as our party leader.

As members of this great party, we will all unanimously agree on who our party leader is, but those things I see on the pages of newspapers are very irritating and are the things that are creating friction please.”    

He called on members to close ranks and support President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid and his commitment in what he described as the liberation of the suppressed people of Nigeria.

“I want to use this opportunity to call on all progressives, all members of APC to please close ranks.

This is not the time for us to begin to fight and continue our internal wrangling, in the face of a very daunting challenge of 2019 elections.

Everybody must bury the hatchet, let us work as a team otherwise, we will not be able to realize the dream of winning Cross River State to the party.

“God forbid, if we do not win Cross River State, we will be one of the lone states left behind.

We have had it even without giving the President the support he needed to win, we have benefited so much, in fact we should be thinking on how we can add to the benefit that Mr. President has given to us,” he stated.

BYL in a statement by Frank Edoiyuma Ighodaro, appealed to Oshiomhole to stay clear of the politics of the senatorial district ahead of the 2019 election, saying he should apply the principle of noninterference of the immediate past national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

They reminded him that through out Odigie-Oyegun tenure as national chairman of APC, he neither dictated nor interfered in the political affairs of Edo State.

The coalition, which comprises Bini young elites from the seven local government councils of Edo South, said Oshiomhole, being the incumbent national chairman “has no business meddling in the internal politics and decision making process of the APC in Edo South Senatorial District.”

Igbodaro said the national party chairman was at liberty to heed their advice or lose the love and respect he commands, adding that the “brotherly advice became imperative against the back drop of the Comrade Chairman’s continuous overbearing influence and the clandestine manipulation of Edo South political affairs which is the inalienable rights and sole responsibility of the Binis.” 

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