From Osagie Otabor, Benin
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, vowed on Saturday that he would never be a party leader that is incapable of winning his own polling booth in an election.
Oshiomhole, who is embroiled in a running battle with his home state governor, Godwin Obaseki, said at a rally in Auchi, Estako West local government area that he would continue to play local politics for as long as he remains in the game. He spoke against the backdrop of the attack launched on the rally ground overnight by suspected thugs.
Two cars, over 1000 chairs, canopies and a raised platform for speakers at the rally were set ablaze by the hoodlums in an apparent bid to stop the rally from taking place. Oshiomhole and his supporters brushed aside the incident and proceeded to hold the rally where they received into the APC defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Oshiomhole described the APC as a party of peace. He said the party was poised to win the next governorship election in the state.
He said: “as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari, the APC will be a different party. When I was told that they burnt this place last night, I said they should be prepared to put more fire in other places because they can’t stop us. But don’t allow anybody push you to any length that provokes you to fight. Those who think they have power to fight should channel such energy against the opposition parties. What is happening here should reinforce our confidence in God. When God decrees peace, nothing can stop it, when God says yes, no man born of woman can stop it.
“I don’t want to be a national chairman who will campaign across the country and will not be able to win his polling unit because politics is local. There are people who think that when they reach a high level they forget the local. I was governor before now I am no longer governor. I am national chairman today, tomorrow I will no longer be national chairman. Let me tell those people in high places that the only permanent place is the grassroots; politics is a game of numbers not a game for the powerful, because on election day each of us has one vote.
“I want to urge all unit leaders, ward leaders, local government leaders and state leaders to integrate all those who have just joined us.” Former Edo North senatorial candidate of the PDP, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, who led the defectors, said more people would soon join the party. Those present at the rally included Chief Blessing Agbomhere; Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Peter Akpatason; former Deputy Chief Whip of the House, Hon Pally Iriase; and former member of the House of Representatives, Hon Abdul Oroh.
Others were former Deputy Governor Pius Odubu, Hon Lucky Imasuen, Major General Chris Ogienmwonyi (rtd), Major General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, former Deputy Speaker, Festus Ebea and several others.