A former governorship aspirant on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state, Gen Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd), has said Governor Godwin Obaseki has no moral justification to proscribed the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), a pressure group within the ruling APC.
Airhiavbere said that democracy is all about negotiation, adding that the constitution provides for free movement and speech.
He stated this in reaction to Governor Obaseki’s threat to proscribed the EPM, a group that have vowed to stop the governor from securing the party’s return ticket for allegedly dumping the APC’s manifestoes.
The ex-governorship aspirant said: “I believe in a strategic situation in ensuring that APC must win the next election. We have to do some mentally mechanism that will stabilise the polity”.
According to him, “EPM is not the only pressure group. Before EPM came on board, there was Obaseki/Shaibu Movement (OSM) was established for a 4+4 (reelection) to ensure that Obaseki/Shaibu (his deputy) win the party primaries.
“And there is also another group in the same political party. So, EPM is a pressure group that also wants the APC to win in the next election. So, who is proscribing who? Is it the 4+4 that Godwin Obaseki must stay or the 3+1 that Godwin Obaseki must go?
“The issues are clear. During the last presidential election, we (APC) lost abysmally in Edo South, Edo Central, only Edo Central produced the number for the president to scale through in Edo state.
“And that was the beginning of the problems in APC coming to the public. It was clear that if we do not do something drastic there will be problem,” he stated.
Airhiavbere insisted that Edo people cannot proudly display the recent Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) award bestowed on Obaseki adding that tertiary institutions in the state are in comatose.