For the first time after their bitter quarrel over several issues, the two immediate past national chairmen of the All Progressives Congress, APC, John Odigie-Oyegun and Adams Oshiomhole on Saturday met and called for unity.
The two were present at a stakeholders’ meeting called by the Edo State chapter of the party in Benin.
Oshiomhole and Odigie-Oyegun besides being former national chairmen of the APC were also former governors of Edo State. however, their relationship has always been cat and mouse.
While Oshiomhole was governor, Odigie-Oyegun who was chairman of the party kept a safe distance from the politics of Edo State.
However, Odigie-Oyegun took exceptions to the alleged role and interference by Oshiomhole in the politics of Edo State after Godwin Obaseki came to power.
Odigie-Oyegun was known to have stood strongly on behalf of the incumbent governor in his battles with Oshiomhole and openly rebuked his successor as governor and national chairman over his alleged interferences in the affairs of government and party in Edo State.
Odigie-Oyegun had in a statement in July, 2019 asked Oshiomhole to stop interfering in Edo State and allow Obaseki do his job.
“I appeal to him (Oshiomhole) to stop disgracing the governing party APC and Edo State,” Odigie-Oyegun said in a statement at that time ahead of the battle between the incumbent governor and his predecessor.
“I wonder how he could easily forget that I never interfered or bothered about how he ran the government as the then governor of Edo all the while I occupied the position of the party’s national chairman,” he affirmed.
However, the two men who had walked parallel lines in almost all issues in Edo State met with other stakeholders in a new drive for unity.
Affirming that he remained a member of the APC despite his opposition to the Oshiomhole tendency that pushed Obaseki to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Odigie-Oyegun said:
“Let us put the past behind and let us look at the future,” as he reiterated his membership of the party “I am APC… I belong to APC body and soul”.
“Every member of the party including party leaders have a contribution to make for the improvement and success of the party”, adding, “No individual can be greater than the party”.
Comrade Oshiomhole on his part prayed for unity as he called on everyone to embrace the leadership of the party in the state to help it realise the collective interest of the party.
The state chairman of the party, Col. David Imuse (rtd) while welcoming the new unity said the registration exercise recently concluded was an important springboard for the party to advance its unity.
“Our party is now a stronger and more united party as a result of the exceptional membership registration exercise.
The Stakeholders meeting had in attendance former governor Oserhiemhen Osunbor and his erstwhile deputy, Chief Lucky Imasuen as well as former Deputy governor Dr Pius Odubu. Also present were a member of the Board of trustees, Prince Malik Afegbua, former and serving members of the National Assembly, including Rt Hon Razak Bello-Osagie, Rt Hon Gabriel Oiboh, Senator Francis Alimikhena, Hon Dennis Idahosa, Patrick Aisowieren among others.