By Augustine Akhilomen
The Edo State Government has criticized the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole’s plan to create a tensed atmosphere and discredit the efforts of the administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki in his fight to curtail and contain the spread of the deadly Coronavirus in the state.
Recall that on Thursday, a faction of the ruling party in the state held a meeting in Benin City that had the backing of the former Edo State Governor. The meeting which had a large gathering was against the social distance rules of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
However, in a statement issued by the Secretary to Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie, he queried the decision of a faction of the party to have organized such meetings with a large gathering amid the outbreak of the virus in the state.
He warned that the State government would not hesitate to exercise its power and apprehend any individual or group that flouts the social distancing rules in the state.
He also called on Comrade Oshiomhole, to desist forthwith from these lawless actions and warned that the state government would not stand idly as he carries on with these acts that jeopardize the safety and lives of Edo people.
“The Edo State Government has condemned in the strongest possible terms the activities of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in heating up the polity in the state by organising what has been described as ‘APC faction’s mock primaries’ through the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The Coronavirus pandemic has not only shut the global economy and disrupted the world as we know it, it has led to the loss of over 200,000 lives globally, with Nigeria having its fair share of casualties.
“It is then most despicable of Comrade Oshiomhole to show such insensitivity by spitting on the graves of these people; endangering the lives of millions of Edo people and undermining the efforts of government at the state and national levels to halt the deadly campaign of this invisible enemy.
“Comrade Oshiomhole on Thursday, April 30, 2020, organized what some media outlets have come to term as ‘APC faction’s mock primaries’ in Benin City. The meeting was organized by a group of dissidents who make up the EPM with the active backing of Comrade Oshiomhole, who, it was reported, drew up a delegates list for the exercise.
“It must be noted that the gathering held in a house of a member of the EPM, with the attendants numbering over subsisting directives on public gatherings as prescribed by the national and state governments.
“For Comrade Oshiomhole to organize this sort of gathering at this dark moment of our history as a nation, he has not only shown disregard for the health and safety of Edo people and Nigerians in general, but also proved that he has no regard for the hard-won reputation of our great party.
“The organization of this event directly associated with Comrade Oshiomhole has effectively brought the name and integrity of the party to disrepute; rubbished the efforts by different stakeholders in defeating this deadly virus and put the resolve of our government at the state and national level in jeopardy.
“With this action, it is also clear as day that Comrade Oshiomhole has no regard for President Muhammadu Buhari and the collective efforts of the various agencies of government to protect and safeguard Nigerians in these dire times.
“In a global crisis akin to a world war, Comrade Oshiomhole’s actions expose his inherent spite for the Nigerian people; advertises his vainglorious quest to remain as the godfather in Edo State by trampling on the lives of those who have been lost to this pandemic and the many more who are battling for their lives in the hospitals. This uncharitable, Machiavellian and self-propagating character exhibited through his action make him eminently undeserving of the position he currently occupies in the party.
“Nigerians should see him rightly as the man who thinks only about his ambitions, interests and cronies. He is incapable of empathy, does not provide succour and support, particularly now that our people are at their lowest ebb and in dire need of hope.
“It is most instructive of the kind of person that Oshiomhole is that at this time that Federal and State governments are seeking for security operatives to enforce directives on safety and other public health precautions, he is deploying Policemen and soldiers to a location to hold a political gathering. These security operatives should have rather been at borders and other strategic points serving the people and doing right by the thousands of health workers who are in the frontlines serving as shields against this unraveling enemy.