By Emmanuel Oladesu
Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has said that there would be no room for any form of godfatherism in Edo State.
He also said he has the backing of the people for his transformational agenda in the South-south states.
Obaseki said he would refuse to be intimidated by anybody, adding that the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomhole had outlawed godfatherism in the state.
The governor told reporters in Benin City, the state capital, that Oshiomhole, who waged war against the late Chief Tony Anenih, cannot replace him as a godfather.
Obaseki said he had no plan to dump the APC for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stressing that nobody could force him out of the ruling party.
Describing himself as the state party leader, he said he was firmly in control of the chapter.
Obaseki acknowledged the reality of crisis in the chapter blamed Oshiomhole for the conflict.
The governor said the goals of certain politicians in Edo are at variance with the priorities of the common man.
He said he had the support of the people to forge ahead in the implementation of his policies and programmes.
Obaseki said he was not aware of moves by the PDP chieftain, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to defect to the APC.
He said he has not been contacted by Exe-Iyamu, adding that there are processes for joining the ruling party.
Also, Obaseki’s Special Media and Communications Adviser Crusoe Osagie said there was no iota of truth in the report that the governor was planning to dump the APC.
He said the governor was firmly in charge of the party structures in the state.
Osagie said: “I have said it repeatedly that Governor Godwin Obaseki is firmly in charge of the structures of the APC in the state.
“Whatever rumours out there that the governor is leaving the party is completely false. You don’t leave a house that you built and you are in control of.
“As far as we are concerned, nobody can force Governor Obaseki out of the APC. He is firmly in control of the party.
“Of course, we are aware people are saying different things but as we speak today, the structure of the APC in Edo State is firmly under the control of Governor Godwin Obaseki.
“Don’t forget that few days ago, all the leaders of the APC in Edo State from across the 18 local government areas all came together and passed a vote of confidence on the governor.
“They even adopted him as their candidate to fly the flag of the party in next year’s governorship election in the state.
“What further endorsement can any governor be looking for at the party level ahead of a governorship election that will take place less than a year from now?
He added: “I repeat, nobody can force Governor Obaseki out of the APC. The party is firmly under his control. So, the talk that he will leave the party does not arise at all.
“All leaders and supporters of APC in Edo State are proud of his achievements and they are solidly behind him.”
The governor also warned some APC members in the state who were creating a parallel group under the aegis of Edo People Movement (EPM), saying the constitution of APC did not support parallel bodies.
“There are a few bad eggs in the party who now have another name for themselves. However, in the constitution of the APC, there is no provision for a pressure group within the party.
“So, these people who have alienated themselves from the party are very minute in number and they don’t in anyway represent the voice of the larger majority of the party members who are solidly behind the governor.”