Chairman of the fact-finding and reconciliation committee of the All Progressives Congress for Edo State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has assured that the party’s primary election in the state will be rancour-free.
Speaking at a stakeholder’s meeting with the party leaders in Benin City, yesterday, Prince Oyinlola said the APC won the 2015 general election because of the free and fair convention of the party which produced a candidate acceptable to all members of the party.
According to him, “APC is in government at the national level because of one singular event, and that was the convention we had in Lagos that brought our candidate. Nigerians were amazed that there could be such a transparent convention and a rancour-free one that would produce a candidate. We won the hearts and minds of the people of Nigeria through that, and that is why we will not do otherwise than to continue in the same trend so that the change mantra will become the watchword, the one to emulate in the political arena.”
He added, “And what we are about to do here is just to icing on the cake, cross the ‘t’s and dot the ‘i’s so that our report will be complete. I want to beg of us, God forbid we should not lose the election in Edo State. It is not a pleasant thing to be in the opposition. That is why I want to plead with our leadership that we must be able to resolve our differences. Ours is a fact-finding committee and which is to resolve problems that we may have identified.”
Continuing, Prince Oyinlola, at the enlarged stakeholders’ meeting stakeholders’ meeting was convened at the instance of the Peace Committee set up by the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and which had in attendance Governor Adams Oshiomhole, his deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu, gubernatorial aspirants, executive members of the party, and all critical stakeholders of the party across Edo State said the committee was set up to proffer solutions to whatever problems is confronting the party in the state.
According to him, “we have interacted with so many stakeholders since we came yesterday. And one thing that can lead us to peace contrary to my opinion and believe was that our Comrade Governor’s performance has surpassed that of other holders of office before him. My belief until I came was that nobody had done anything to surpass the achievements of Samuel Ogbemudia. That was my belief, and when I said so, and I kept hearing from all stakeholders that nobody has done what Comrade has done in this state. I asked the question, ‘you mean his achievements have surpassed that of Ogbemudia?’ They told me that it was Ogbemudia himself that said so. And that gladdened my heart.
“If we have a performing Governor who has done so much credit to our party, why then do we not want to continue with this kind or this trend of achievements by making sure that we go into battle united and deliver Edo State to APC. It is the only state that is under our control in the South-South zone, and it is an open secret that some of the governments in other states of the South-South have gone to do a meeting on how to wrestle power from us in Edo State. Our good Lord will not allow that to happen.”
He called for a level playing ground in order to secure victory for the party in the forthcoming governorship election,“That is the reason why we are here. And I want to say we have interacted with the aspirants, and I can say, as a guideline to the interaction to the follow-up, they came up with what they believe is needed to be done for us to move successfully. All of them are talking about a level playing ground, and I said, yes, there is no any other sensor that we have on the ground both from the Governor and from the national Chairman of the party; we must allow a level playing ground. So, be rest assured that that is what is going to happen.
Speaking earlier, Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Mr. Anselm Ojezua said the APC Peace Committee from Abuja had been in Benin for the past two days and were still on ground to discuss with all the stakeholders of the party, saying that their mission was to bring peace to the party,
“They have requested that after those meetings, they want to meet with you. That is why we have invited all of you here. They have come to Edo State in search of peace. So, on this note, I want to welcome you, Mr. Chairman and your distinguished members. I believe at this stage, you have a fair idea of the situation in Edo State. I am also very happy that a member of your team in making his comments has observed that things are not as bad as they seem and that in matters like this, there is nothing without solutions.”