On January 7 this year, an article attributed to Mr. Simon Ebegbulem was published in Vanguard Newspaper titled: “Leadership crisis in Edo APC: The inside story”. This sappy article, which will now run an unsparing gauntlet, made several assertions – more than half of which were fallacious and indicative of a hyperactive imagination.
How could Ebegbulem, as he narrated the conflict of the Story, claim that: “The battle for the soul of the party is between the state youth leader of APC, Comrade Eriyo and Chief Osaro Idah who is backed by the entire leaders of the party including Governor Obaseki”?
Let us decipher this incomprehensible paradox. As the youth leader of the party, Comrade Osakpanwa Eriyo automatically qualifies as one of the leaders of the party. Therefore, by what machination does Ebegbulem arrive at the assertion that Chief Osaro Idah enjoys the backing of the entire leaders of the party in the council, which automatically translates to Comrade Eriyo himself being a supporter of Idah?
Note that he had earlier depicted a tense battle between Eriyo and Idah for the soul of the party. There, Ebegbulem made quite an epic mess of things for it defies profundity to conjecture that one can enjoy the backing of his prime rival in an open battle against the same rival.
The floundering article also suggested that, for fear of the leadership forum conspiring to thwart his ambition to become the party chairperson in Oredo, Osakpanwa initially did not welcome the idea of attending meetings called by the forum. However, Ebegbulem reports, he later started attending meetings, including one in the house of the state party chairman after his fears of the forum’s agenda against him had been legitimated by what happened at the Government House meeting.
How could an individual who would have nothing to do with a group for fear of being slighted later embrace that group immediately after events confirmatory of his fears (Obaseki embracing the group) happens? Was Ebegbulem trying to report more than what he saw or heard? Perhaps, he had imagined that hypnosis via some terrible black magic was afoot, but not being skilled with separating imagination from reality, he muddled the whole thing up in his report.
Ebegbulem would later on blunder some more in his reportage. He claimed that Osakpanwa was responsible for empowering over 30,000 youths across the state. He however fell short of stating exactly what manner of empowerment played out.
If, according to Ebegbulem, Osakpanwa was already the Edo State Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) chairperson, thus was a transporter, then where is this theory of him being empowered by the immediate past administration coming from? Is that to suggest that Oshiomhole, who is himself not a transporter, made him the chairperson of RTEAN in Edo State by fiat?
Yet, the senior transporters in the state never protested such an imposition throughout the 8-year regime of Oshiomhole? Another hanging question is that: “How possible it really is for a mere transporter to have empowered over 30,000 youths if the empowerment in this discourse inhabits the boundaries of the law?
Does Ebegbulem recall that the celebrated OYES empowerment programme of Osun state Government under Aregbesola had exactly 30,000 beneficiaries; less than the same amount he professes Eriyo’s programme boasts of? Unfortunately Ebegbulem did not regale the public with ‘facts’ of the huge investments and tax returns of a local transporter whom he claims equalled the records of a state government in empowerment of youths.
Hear the error mongering reporter: ‘…Chief Idah presented one list which was accepted by the meeting while the one presented by Osakpanwa was rejected and that was why Osakpanwa’s loyalists were stopped from entering that meeting. Hell was let loose when his loyalists stormed the Government House insisting that they must enter the meeting….’
The claim above that Osakpamwan’s loyalists only later stormed the Government House after their leader’s list was rejected means they initially were not at Government House at all. Then how come that prior to that time they were stopped from entering the meeting as Ebegbulem claimed they did in a preceding line? How could a set of people yet to arrive at a meeting venue have been stopped from entering the meeting?
If Chief Idah had the backing of the entire party leaders, including Comrade Eriyo himself, as Ebegbulem implied in the first lines of his article, then how is it that a meeting of party leaders called by the Governor still had in attendance some loyalists on the side of Eriyo as the article would later claim? Are these party leaders loyal to Eriyo not part of the entire party leaders already backing Chief Idah as Ebegbulem had earlier claimed?
The claim that the rampaging youths carted away some cows from the Government House is invalidated by the earlier assertion that the youths who had cause to go a-rampaging were successfully denied entry into the government house in the first instance.
Moreover cows are so beefy that a mission to cart them away would requires careful prior planning and logistic provisions. It is not an exercise that could be successfully carried out in an opportunistic manner during an emergency. Were the services of veteran rustlers employed?
Ebegbulem’s insinuation that the course which the current misunderstanding within the Oredo APC chapter takes could determine the outcome of proceedings at the tribunal is not only an insult on the judiciary, but also a gross disrespect for a carefully constituted tribunal.
How are the decisions of Oredo’s chapter of APC supposed to jeopardise Governor Obaseki’s chances at the tribunal? Is Ebegbulem implicitly suggesting that some of the tribunal judges have vested interest in the Oredo APC crisis and are sympathetic to Osakpanwa? Can Ebegbulem substantiate his claims if sued for libel?
The claim by Ebegbulem that those Obaseki stopped from collecting taxes are the youths loyal to Osakpanwa – the over 30,000 ones empowered by him – indicates that Edo’s revenue officers totalled at least that figure in the past administration. This is a laughable figure. Where did Ebegbulem get his own facts from?
Suffice it therefore to note that the sheer quantity of illogical claims and self-contradicting arguments pervading the article are too many for the article to retain any iota of credibility.
Friday Atari is an APC Chieftain and social media activist.