The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressive Congress in Edo took a new dimension on Friday with the suspension of the state party Secretary, Mr. Lawrence Okah.
The state party chairman, Anslem Ojezua, who confirmed it to our Correspondent, said Okah was suspended to allow the committee set up to investigate the allegation against him do its job.
He, however, said the suspension was not a punitive measure but a normal administrative procedure of the party.
“He was just suspended to allow the committee set up to look at the complaints against him. We have not expelled him, no it is not like that. The suspension is not punitive it is just a normal administrative procedure,” he said.
It may be recalled that Governor Godwin Obaseki had vowed to flush out of the party those considered as “dissidents.”
Obaseki, speaking at the inauguration of the board of Edo Development and Property Authority, praised members of Edo APC that had remained faithful to the party in the state, while vowing to flush out any “dissident APC member” in the state.
“You know we have not wasted government money. We are progressives because we want to make tomorrow better for our children.
“Many have derailed. We thank God they have derailed because their hearts were not pure.
“We will flush them out. We own the land. We determine who our leader will be. Nobody can come here and impose on us who we don’t want,” he said.
The APC chairman also said in a separate interview with our Correspondent that the party will not allow any parallel group, saying such group is “cancerous.”
But in a swift riposte, Lawrence Okah maintained that he remained the bonafide Secretary of the party.
He said in a statement that his purported suspension was illegal.
According to him, “Governor Godwin Obaseki and Anslem Ojezua lack the powers to suspend me.
“All they have done so far regarding the party is illegal abd cannot stand.
“I remain the secretary of the party while Comrade Adams Oshiomhole remains the leader of the party in Edo State.”