Philip Shaibu, the deputy governor of Edo state, says the All Progressives Congress (APC) crisis that led to the party’s loss in Zamfara state would not repeat itself in his state.
The APC had lost all its votes in the 2019 governorship elections after a five-man panel of the supreme court led by Tanko Muhammad, the chief Justice of Nigeria, declared that the party did not conduct valid primaries in the build-up of the elections.
The party had two primaries in the state due to factional power play in the state — a situation political commentators say may repeat itself in Edo state.
Speaking on this in an interview with Osasu Igbinedion on The Osasu Show, Shaibu said the party has put politics on hold to halt the spread of COVID-19, but assured party faithful that Zamfara will not be repeated in Edo.
“I can assure you that what happened in Zamfara cannot happen in Edo state because we play the game by the rules. We follow the rule strictly, and everything that we do in Edo is guided by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.
“Anything we do in the party is guided by the constitution of the APC. I can assure you that Edo will not have a repeat of Zamfara. We would have our election by the grace of God in Edo, and Godwin Obaseki and I, will get our second term by the grace of God.
“History is there that you cannot truncate a moving train, that is moving at a speed of development, like the one we are having. We think through all our policies, we don’t know it all but we collaborate with other states and other government agencies.
“What we are doing in Edo is to take governance to a level where our children will have hope for tomorrow. We are dealing with the isssue of education, we are dealing with the issue of infrastructure.
“We are creating a new mindset of people believing in themselves. Edo people are very very proud people, an Edo man or Edo woman, will not want to be the one going to ask for alms. He would want to be the one giving the alms.”
‘COVID-19 OVER PARTY POLITICS’
Edo state APC currently has two chairmen belonging to different factions in the state, suggesting two candidates may be fielded for the governorship election in September 2020.
“As far as politics is concerned, we decided to be silent on politics because the life of our people is critical to us and we don’t want to be distracted with this politics.
“Even the palliatives is distributed across party lines; there was no PDP/APC, all the parties were involved, civil society, traditional rulers, all of us.
“We want to completely focus on COVID, the issue of politics will take care of itself. We don’t know who will be alive when the election will take place, this disease is real and all of us are vulnerable, you can see kings, governors, prime ministers are being affected.
“We have decided that politics should take the backstage for now, when the time to play the politics come, and God spare our lives, we would deal with the issue.”
He said Adams Oshiomhole, the national chairman of the APC, has been suspended in the state, but the court says he can keep working on the national stage while they await another court verdict on the matter.
Shaibu prayed that the APC return as “one big family”.
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