A former Governor of Edo and leader of the APC caucus in the state, Adams Oshiomhole, has advised the newly elected state executives of the party to abstain from extortion.
Mr Oshiomhole gave the advice on Sunday in Benin when the newly elected State Working Committee, SWC, of the party, paid him a courtesy call at his residence.
Led by its re-elected Chairman, Anselm Ojezua, the former governor charged the SWC to live above “Politics of cash and carry”, a situation whereby large sums of money were extorted from aspirants vying for various elective political positions in the state.
He also urged the new executive to sustain the confidence the people had reposed in them with their election.
“We must be democratic, no imposition, we must manage our differences but at the end of the day we must have the capacity to speak with one voice.
“Very soon, you will be called upon, as will be expected of leaders across the country, to actively participate in the process of electing candidates on the platform of our party.
“We expect as you were elected at this level without anybody going to sell is father’s house or sell her mother’s shop because he or she wanted to contest for this office.
“We will expect you to, working along with others, to ensure that the process of electing delegates, electing candidates, is not based on cash and carry.
“It has to be based on merit, on competence and based on commitment to delivering services to their various constituents.
“It should not based on who bought a car for me or pay my bills; we want to be able to make a difference and clean up the system so that those elected will in turn have no excuse about their responsibilities to their constituencies.”
Mr Oshiomhole also praised the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, for allowing the leaders of the party the free hand to pick the leaders.
“I want also acknowledge and appreciate the leadership that Gov. Godwin Obaseki has provided, because if he has believed that, if he did not personally appoint political leaders, the security of his tenure cannot be guaranteed, we will not be here.
“I believe he understood that he doesn’t need to appoint ward executives, local government executives and the state executives for him to feel safe.
“He understood that the safety in terms of security of tenure of his office and having a warm environment with people to work with simply required that he trust leaders at all levels to do their bits and then harvest all of that together.
“If he doesn’t have that understanding, perhaps, the story would have been different,” Mr Oshiomhole said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr Ojezua had told Mr Oshiomhole that the exercise succeeded because of the cohesion the former governor has instituted in the party.
The state chapter of the party concluded its congresses on Saturday with the election of the SWC, following the successful conduct of the Ward and Local Government congresses.