The attack on Seidu Oshiomhole, younger brother of the National Chairman of ruling All Progressives Congress, APC Adams Oshiomhole on Tuesday, by unknown thugs presents a new twist to the supremacy battle between the former governor of the state and his successor, Godwin Obaseki.
Seidu and 14 other lawmakers of the state house of assembly were beaten up by thugs suspected to be angry with the former governor of the state.
They were attacked in a hotel as they were reportedly holding a meeting.
Sources told the magazine that the meeting was necessitated by the Monday midnight inauguration of nine members of the new parliament and subsequent election of Frank Okiye as the Speaker.
Okiye, representing Esan North East Constituency I became speaker against Victor Edoro who’s the preferred candidate of the APC chairman.
Thus, following the two incidents analysts insist that the Edo governor has proved that he’s a shark in the dangerous political water that Edo has now become.
Governor Obaseki has won the first round of the supremacy battle between him and his benefactor and ex-godfather, Oshiomhole ahead the 2020 governorship election watchers of politics in the state told the magazine.
The former helmsman does not want his successor, Obaseki who is poised for a second term in office to be returned.
But as it seems the governor has been gaining grounds among the political actors in the state, particularly those once loyal to Oshiomhole in the party.
Apart from the nine lawmakers now in the camp of the governor the magazine was informed that the other 15 lawmakers are now confused on where to enlist their support.
“We are in discussion with other lawmakers who share the vision of Governor Obaseki and those interested about the development of the state.
The governor is hated by some entrenched interests who do not want the progress of the state, but he’s well loved by the people of the state who voted him into office.
The whole thing is about the next governorship election and as far as we are concerned nobody can stop continuity,” a chieftain of APC in the state told the magazine on Wednesday.
For instance, the event on Monday June 17 that saw to the emergence of Okiye must have shocked those in the camp of the ex-governor who the magazine learnt have now gone back to the drawing board to re-strategize.
19 out of the 24 lawmakers, who the magazine learnt won their seats on the goodwill of the APC chairman had dumped him to back Governor Obaseki.
“What happened on Monday was a big surprise to us. But it’s not yet a done deal we will go bank and find out what exactly happened,” a source in Oshiomhole camp told the magazine on Tuesday.
The assembly is now divided. Lawmakers loyal to the APC chairman are now crying foul after receiving the wrong end of the stick.
Visibly angry over the twist of events in the assembly lawmakers loyal to Oshiomhole said in frustration “Today, we members-elect of Edo State House of Assembly wish to bring to knowledge of the people of Edo State and the general public of the attempt by Governor Obaseki to truncate democracy in Edo State.”
Spokesman for the group and member-elect representing Uhunwmonde constituency, Hon. Osifo, said, “It is public knowledge that all the members-elect in Edo State are all of the same political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It is also common knowledge that the governor, no matter how powerful, cannot impose individuals either as Speaker or Deputy Speaker on the legislators.
At best, he can only lobby for his preferred candidates as was recently witnessed at the National Assembly.”
Calling on President Muhamadu Buhari and other Nigerians to intervene in the political crisis Osifo said “We urge all well-meaning individuals, including our well-respected Royal Father, His Majesty Oba Ewuare II, The Oba of Benin, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, the leadership of our party, APC, and the leadership of the National Assembly to prevail on Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State, to immediately issue the letter of proclamation to enable Edo State House of Assembly to function and to avoid serious constitutional crisis.”