In a move that is bound to repair the frosty relationship between Governor Adams Oshiomhole and his deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu, all aides of the governor sacked or suspended for supporting Odubu, have been recalled.
Odubu contested the primary election of the All Progressives Congress, APC, last month but lost to the perceived candidate of the governor, Godwin Obaseki, who will now fly the party’s flag in the September 10 governorship election of Edo State.
During the primary election campaigns, some aides of Oshiomhole openly showed their support for Odubu while denouncing the choice of Obaseki, a move that earned them disciplinary actions from the governor.
One of such officials was the Executive Director on Poverty Alleviation and Mobilization, Chief (Mrs) Evelyn Igbafe, who was sacked for “dereliction of duty, incompetence and abdication of responsibilities”.
However, the affected political appointees were recalled at a reconciliatory meeting the governor held with his deputy on Tuesday.
Mr. Oshiomhole said the party primaries was to demonstrate internal democracy and distinguished the APC from other political parties.
He noted that the step taken towards reconciliation was in the interest of the party and honesty of purpose on his part.
He said, “The deputy governor and I have worked together, dined together and socialized together. For some time it’s being in the news that the deputy governor and I are not in good term. I believe watchers of Nigeria politics will agree that Pius and I have had an extremely cordial relationship and I have had without any prompting agree that in my working with Pius I found him to be absolutely loyal, dedicated and committed.
“Nobody was able to infiltrate us and nobody ever came to settle a quarrel between the deputy governor and I in the past seven and half years. Some times when we joke we don’t relate as boss and subordinate but as brothers as we have been.
“Pius and I fought many battles, both political battles as well as battles to reposition this government and together we can effortlessly point out what our stewardship accomplished for the benefit of the people of Edo State. I believe all these formed the foundation for the electioneering campaign that is about to begin. Having worked so hard and related so closely, there is no question Pius and I in and outside government will remain friends and comrades.
“The primaries have come and gone. As a governor, I took some decisions some of which clearly affected some of the supporters of my brother, the deputy governor.
“As part of my own atonement and to demonstrate my commitment to our friendship, some of the people who were affected in the cause of this contestation I have decided to reinstate them to their former positions and even to get their remuneration reinstalled.
“I believe that when a leader shows compassion and demonstrate spirit of forgiveness and calls his younger ones, pat them on the back and say return home, it is not a mark of weakness, it simply shows that we are ever conscious that as humans there are times to make mistakes and times to correct them”.
In his response, Odubu reaffirmed his commitment to the APC and victory at all elections.