Why Lawan declared Obaseki as APC’s choice for Edo 2020
The fine details of the deal that saved Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s job as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) may have come to light as sources and recent events have revealed the conditionalities that Oshiomhole may have agreed to in order to retain his job as the party’s top executive.
After the meeting on Tuesday between President Muhammadu Buhari and governors elected under the APC, sources disclosed that top on the list of conditions that Oshiomhole was made to agree to was that the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, would be granted the right of first refusal in their elections coming up later in the year.
An impeccable source in the top hierarchy of the party, who craved anonymity, said, “When the governor’s met before seeing the president, the pro-Oshiomhole, anti-Oshiomhole and non-aligned governors agreed that the condition for Oshiomhole’s continued stay as chairman of the APC was that he delivered Edo and Ondo State Governors. There were other conditions as well, which mandated Oshiomhole to recall suspended members of the APC. Oshiomhole was also to stop his highhandness and work with members of the National Working Committee and the leaders of the party, as against his former style.
“The governors have presented this position to the President and that was what guatanteed the reconciliatory moves that have manifested in the last few days.”
Another source close to the National Secretariat of the APC said Oshiomhole’s reconciliatory tone during the National Working Committee (NWC) meeting was a sign of the deal he agreed to.
He added, “He has taken a pacifist approach, which is part of what was asked to do to save his job. It is a honorable thing to do, giving where we were coming from.”
In line with the agreement, the Deputy National Chairman (North), Sen. Shuaibu Lawan, upon resumption in office on Wednesday, March 18, declared that the party’s choice in the upcoming gubernatorial election in Edo State is Governor Godwin Obaseki.
“The move is declarative and sacrosanct. It is the party leadership’s position, as have been agreed by the governors.”
It was also gathered that in trying to manage the blow back from the deal on his local support base in Edo State, Comrade Oshiomhole had arranged that the message for Obaseki be returned as governor be brought to the public by other members of the NWC and not himself. This move, many believe, is a strategy to ensure that it would be presented as the party’s position and outside the control of the National Chairman, who has agreed to allow for a more flexible approach for the running of the party’s affairs.
“It is reasonable that such a demand will be made by the governors. A lot of the pro-Oshiomhole governors are in their first term in office and would be needing the support of Governor Obaseki and Akeredolu when it would be their turn to seek re-election. So, it would only be wise for them to fight for the return of these governors in office, so when it is their turn they would also have people that would plead their case, in the event that anyone wants to play a fast one on them,” one of the aides to one of the pro-Oshiomhole governor said in confidence.