The crisis in the Edo All Progressives Congress (APC) took a new dimension yesterday when the state’s chapter of the party passed a vote of no confidence on its national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and the chairman of the party in the state, Anselm Ojezua. It also removed the State Secretary of the party, Mr. Lawrence Okah.
Party chairmen across the 18 local government areas of the state signed the paper.
However, two members of the party’s executive committee, including the Auditor of the Edo State Chapter of the APC, Comrade Timothy Osadolor and the chapter’s Financial Secretary, Princess Golda Oribhabor-Onwuka, have distanced themselves from the party’s action, claiming gunmen abducted them and forced to sign the document against Ojezua.
They also said the signatures were not genuine, as they had to scribble things on the document just to escape unhurt.
Speaking after the party’s State Executive Committee yesterday, the Deputy State Chairman of the APC, Kenneth Asekomhe said, “After the meeting of the State Executive Committee, in pursuant of Article 17, Section 5 of APC constitution of 2014, as amended, we the undersigned members passed a vote of no confidence on the State Secretary of the party, Mr. Lawrence Okah. He is hereby removed from office.
“The committee also passed a vote of confidence on the State Chairman of APC, Mr. Anselm Ojezua.”
The APC chairmen in the 18 LGAs of the state also reaffirmed their support for the second term bid of Governor Godwin Obaseki on account of his developmental strides.
The APC Chairman in Esan Central LGA and Secretary, Edo State APC Chairmen Forum, Hon. Mike Anakaso, said the chairmen passed a vote of no confidence on Oshiomhole for his role in trying to disintegrate the party in Edo State.
He warned, “Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is the one behind the crisis in Edo APC and we have passed a vote of no confidence on him. We don’t want what happened in Zamfara or other parts of the country to happen in Edo State.”
However, Osadolor and Princess Oribhabor-Onwuka explained at the party’s state secretariat that they were taken in a commando-style to the residence of the suspended Secretary of the party, Mr. Lawrence Okah and forced to sign the document.
Giving details of the incident, the Auditor, Comrade Osadolor explained that a colleague invited them for a meeting, before they were whisked to Okah’s residence.
He said he was threatened and asked to sign the document if he wanted to leave the residence alive, noting that he had to append a fake signature against his name to regain freedom.
According to him, “What happened, to the best of my knowledge, is an act of desperation taken too far. We were taken in a commando-style to the house of the State Secretary, where I was forced to sign the documents purportedly removing Anselm Ojezua. There were just eight or nine signatures on the document. My name was badly spelt. I didn’t draw their attention to it but had to play along by signing the document with a fake signature.”
Princess Golda Oribhabor-Onwuka emphasised that she signed the document under duress.
In an earlier statement signed by the Assistant State Secretary, Mr. Ikuenobe Anthony Esq., the party had announced the decision to sack Okah.
Anthony said the decision was taken after a meeting of the State Executive Committee, on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, where a vote of no confidence was passed on Okah.
According to him, “The State Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has this morning, 12th of November, 2019, passed a vote of no confidence on the State Secretary, Mr. Lawrence Okah, in accordance with Article 17 (v) of the constitution of the party.
He noted: “The effect of this is that Mr. Lawrence Okah ceases to be the State Secretary of the party henceforth.
“An appropriate replacement will be effected in due course in accordance with Article 17 (vi) of the said constitution.”