From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ward 2 of Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State have threatened to suspend former national chairman of the party Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, from the party over alleged anti-party activities even as they denied the duo’s membership claims of the party.
The Legal Adviser of the party in Oredo Local Government Area, Johnson Osemwegie Elamah, while reacting to the revalidation of the duo’s membership of the party, said: ‘I don’t see those two people as APC members. They were members of the APC before they betrayed the party.
‘They were members of the APC and voted for the PDP during the governorship poll, ( in the state on September 19, 2020). What I will advise them to do is for them to come and declare officially that they’re coming back to us because they have already left for PDP.
‘Chief John Odigie-Oyegun contributed to the problem in the APC today. He pretended to be with APC yet he was fighting the party. He promised to bring everybody together as he was a father of all.
‘But when APC governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, went to him he refused to receive him. Rather, when Godwin Obaseki paid a similar visit to him he welcomed him with both arms.
‘We are suspending both Chief Odigie-Oyegun and Dr. Ehanire from the APC through the ward executives. They’re already working on it. They’re no longer members of the APC. What have they contributed to the party? Let them tell us.
‘Why we aren’t bothered is that somebody like Oyegun doesn’t have political relevance. He has never won his ward. Go and check the records. I know of very many national chairmen that have been in different parties. If they don’t win their state or national poll they at least win their wards. But this man cannot even win his merit.’
Elemah declared as invalid Chief Oyegun’s revalidation of his APC membership, as the registered members’ list for Ward 2 unit 2 which was supposed to capture him was in the possession of the unit head, Evelyn Iyamu, who was faraway in Iyekogba where she was registering party members who couldn’t come into the metropolis to do the exercise.
‘Where did Oyegun get the register from? The register was at Iyekogba. I just brought the unit head back from there. Oyegun registered in unit 1 which is against the party’s instruction that everybody should go to their various units to register.
‘But instead of him going to Ward 2 unit 2 he went to unit 1. The implication is that he did an invalid registration.’
Also commenting on Chief Oyegun’s revalidation of his membership, the Vice-Chairman of APC Ward 2 of Oredo, Prince Blessing Edigin, said: ‘I am so shocked that a responsible man like Chief Oyegun would not know the right thing to do at the right time.
‘To my shock I heard that he was registered at unit 1 which is against the rules and regulations of our party. Oyegun is not a member of APC.
‘Nobody knows the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire in his ward. He has ceased to be a member of APC in Ward 2. If Oyegun wants to come to APC he should enter through the right door.
‘Now that we’re building the APC we don’t need any distraction or anybody who will divert our attention”.
On her part, Evelyn Iyamu, the APC Ward 2 unit 2 head, re-echoed Elemah’s statement, saying that Chief Oyegun does not know her and have never met her.
Earlier, Dr Ehanire, while responding to reporters inquiries, expressed confidence in the revalidation exercise, saying: ‘Chief Oyegun and myself are members of the merger committee that brought the APC to life. When the negotiation took place to join three political parties we were there. We were there at the inception at the birth of APC.
‘Therefore, we are among the oldest members here because we were at the ward when it was born at the maternity and now that it is being revalidated we are very pleased to be here to do the revalidation together.
‘So, it is a very joyful moment. And I believe this should be the beginning of the renewal of the party in Edo State and in Nigeria.’
Similarly, Chief Oyegun in his comment said: ‘We want to know who is APC so that as we move forward everybody who registers during this period would be re-confirmed, dedicated and passionate members of the APC.’
In his comment, the chairman of the caretaker committee of the party Col David Imuse (retd), said the revalidation exercise shows that the party is moving forward.