Aggrieved leaders of Edo chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have called on the governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to relinquish control and monopoly of party structure to pave way for an inclusive political system.
The leaders along with some party faithful from across 18 local government councils of the state the made this called after a meeting in Benin on Thursday.
The leaders, who accused the governor of using some of his political appointees to intimate party faithful, said they desire a system that respects sanctity of internal democracy.
Those aggrieved leaders included, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Chief Evelyn Igbafe, some former council chairmen including, Hon. Jude Idehen, Patrick Aisowenren and Friday Ogieriakhi among others
The convener of the meeting and former state chairman of the party, Chief Tony Omoaghe who read the communiqué said: “We need a system that is devoid of deliberate sponsorship of rancour and fractionalization within the party and recognizes the worth of all party faithful across the state.”
The communiqué said since assuming office, the governor has subdued the practice of internal and participatory democracy across the state.
“It is on record that he single-handedly handpicked party candidates for the last year’s local government council elections in the state.
“The ward and local government congresses were a monumental fiasco under the watch of the governor who, once again, single-handedly handled the process.
“Weeks before the exercise, he deliberately mandated a number of his political appointees to go about intimidating party faithful with the claim that they have his mandate to draw up list of party executives for affirmation at the congresses.
“When this primitive tactic failed, they decided to manipulate the process through all manner of subterfuge, including sponsoring and condoning violence,” he stated.
The members also berated Oshiomhole for hijacking the party structures to serve a “selfish and a narrow political interests.”
In their four-point prayers along with relinquishing of party control, the members also prayed the governor to immediately cancel what they described as “sham” registration of party members in the state.
They also called for the cancelation of the ward and local government congresses in the state as well as tendering apology to the leadership of the party, particularly the former governor of the state, Chief John Oyegun.
But reacting, the governor described as ‘unfounded’ the allegations raised by the leaders in their communiqué.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Kazeem Afegbua, the governor said there are various platforms to address some of the issues being raised.
According to him: “As a party, it is expected that you cannot pacify and fulfil all the demands, the desires and aspirations of each and every one of the members of the party.
“Where there are genuine cases of infractions, I know that the governor, given the magnanimous disposition to the slogan, ‘let the people lead’ he will definitely take steps to encourage the party structure to address those issues,” he stated.