Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin

A group, the FINAL YES Social Political Group, on Thursday, accused the senator representing Edo North Senatorial District in the Senate, Sen. Francis Alimikhena, of working against the interest of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for allegedly aligning with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Spokesperson for the group, Adoga J. Ibrahim, made the accusation while briefing newsmen in Benin-City.

He alleged that from the onset, Sen. Alimikhena had always taken sides with the membership of the opposition party in the National Assembly to the detriment of his own party that worked tirelessly to send him to the National Assembly.

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“Right from the beginning, Sen. Francis Alimikhena who was 100% helped into the Senate by Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, took sides against Oshiomhole and the APC.

“He openly took sides with Bukola Saraki against President Muhammadu Buhari and by extension against Ahmed Bola Tinubu and publicly bragged about it.

In the political struggles to produce a Senate President, without consulting with his governor or with his party leaders, the senator jumped into Saraki’s camp, and when he was called to order he told Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Comrade Oshiomhole that they arrived too late because he had given his support already to Saraki and that his decision on that was final.

“Hence, he has been well rewarded for betraying his party and leaders and this has earned him some good fortunes.

“He was made Deputy Chief Whip more for the fact that he was the only senator from the South South than for any other visible or known quality but sadly, he has only used the position to enrich himself”, the group alleged.

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Castigating the senator further, the group said, “What we fear most is Sen. Alimikhena’s brazen disregards for party directives which manifested in his solidarity with PDP senators and marriage to Sen. Bukola Saraki until this current political impasse at the National Assembly, leaving us without doubt that Sen. Alimikhena’s present and sudden loyalty is nothing but a mirage as there is no assurance that he will serve the interest of APC if elected again.

“In the senate, he has supported everything the Saraki stood for and we all know without being told that Saraki right from the beginning was a PDP member marking time in APC because of his disregard for leaders and party directives.

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“He has supported Saraki in all his travails even in the law courts.  He has not moved any known motion to support the Buhari administration.

“He has supported all the idiosyncracies of Dino Melaye at least, he has never criticised Dino.  In reality, it is as if Edo is not represented at the senate”.

Adoga said with the roles played by Alimikhena so far, it will be difficult for him to align himself with the national chairman of the party to achieve a purposeful leadership for the party for the overall interest of Nigerians.

“Now that Oshiomhole has emerged as the APC National Chairman, how on earth is he going to work with APC and a pro “PDP” Senator?

“How is he going to explain to the world that his senator from his own state and district is a Saraki devotee and disciple?  How is he going to convince Nigerians that he would work seamlessly with the Federal Government and National Assembly with a character like Alimikhena as his senator?

“These are critical questions that Oshiomhole and the Edo APC must ponder upon. If we as Edo people want to help Oshiomhole, we must give him three senators that think, that can think and have a world view that is accommodating and rich.

“Senators that have character and presence and whose identities are not absent in the book of books”, he said.

The group also accused Sen. Alimikhena of distancing himself from the people of his constituency, stressing that they would rather prefer someone who is down-to-earth and having a good relationship with his people than casting their votes for him again.

“At home, Alimikhena restricted himself 95% to his native Etsako, believing and acting as if the Akoko-Edo and Owan nations do not matter.  90% of his constituency projects are in Etsako.

“He has a reputation for not picking his calls or querying callers on how they got his phone number. He has only very peripheral contact or relationship with non-Etsakos in his native Edo North, this accounts for why we seek a Senator who has a robust understanding about the peculiar nature of our politics as well as reaching out to our invaluable party members and electorate on a constant and unbiased basis”, it added.