The suspension of chieftains of the All Progressives Party (APC), in Edo central senatorial district, took a new dimension over the weekend, as the party youths and ward leaders in the zone disassociated themselves from the purported suspension of their leaders.
It would be recalled that the State Working Committee of the party had among others in an emergency meeting held last week, ratified the suspension of Chief Francis Inegbeneki, Chief Henry Okoror, vice chairman of the party (Edo Central), Hon. Kenneth Ihensekhien over alleged illegal detention and holding hostage of the State Chairman, Barr. Anslem Ojezua at Uromi on January 2 , 2017.
But the executives and members of the party at an enlarged meeting held in ward nine, Opoji in Esan Central local government area, who met under the name, the All Progressives Youths Disciples (APYD), condemned the suspension of Chief Francis Inegbeneki, Henry Okoror, Ken Ihensekhen and others.
A communiqué signed by the Secretary of ward 9, Barrister Momodu Onusua and Monday Ojeaga, youth leader, respectively, called on leadership of the party in the state and the National headquarters to intervene in the issue.
“We condemn in strong terms the unlawful suspension of our highly responsive, dedicated and committed leaders.
“The activities of Anselm Ojezua on the alleged suspension of these leaders amount to harassment, intimidation, abuse of power of his office, which negates and contravene article 21 of APC party constitution, which provides for principle of fair hearing.”
The APWD said they believe Anslem Ojezua and a few cabals were on a serial mission to destroy the party in Edo state so that PDP can take over the state.
“How else can one explain what is happening, why is it that it is this period when all APC members are suppose to rally round governor Godwin Obaseki to win the case in tribunal, that they are chasing people away from the party?
“We call on the leadership of the party in the state and National Headquarters to intervene in this issue. We cannot watch our leaders being embarrassed in this manner, and a few destroying the party.
“While trusting that the leaders of APC will do the needful for the progress of our great party. We hereby unequivocally pass vote of implicit confidence on these leaders; high Chief Francis Inegbeneki, Henry Okoror , Ken Ihensekhen, Henry Okpamen and others,” the communiqué said.
It would also be recalled that Chief Francis Inegbineki while reacting to his suspension, said the State Party Chairman, Barrister Anselm Ojezua lacks the power to suspend him, adding that he can only be suspended by the ward party leaders according to the provisions of the constitution of the party.
He said Ojezua became uncomfortable and started exploring illegal means to suspend him the moment he was unanimously adopted as the party leader in Edo Central Senatorial District in a motion moved by a former commissioner in the state at a meeting well attended by party members and leaders on January 2nd in Uromi, the administrative headquarters of Esan North East local government area.
Chief Inegbeneki further alleged that he became object of attack, having accused the party chairman of embezzling the party fund during the last governorship election and in engaging in anti-party activities.