The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State has rejected an emergency caucus meeting called by the South-South region of the party.
The meeting, scheduled to take place this Thursday in Abuja, is convened by the APC national vice chairman, South-South, Hilliard Eta.
The national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, and the Edo governor, Godwin Obaseki, are among the 73 persons from the region invited to the meeting, according to a notice placed by Mr Eta in a national newspaper.
The Edo chapter of the APC has, however, indicated it would not attend the Abuja meeting.
In a statement issued Thursday morning, the state chairman of the party, Anselm Ojezua, said the venue of the meeting is Mr Oshiomhole’s private office and that party “leaders” in the zone were not consulted before the meeting.
Mr Ojezua, in addition, said the purpose of the meeting is to “procure” and pass a vote of confidence on Mr Oshiomhole.
“Members are by this medium advised to ignore this notice and refrain from attending the meeting.
“A proper meeting of the caucus members within the boundaries of the South-south region of Nigeria should be convened in due course, after due consultation with the leaders of the Zone,” said Mr Ojezua who referred to Mr Oshiomhole, in the statement, as the “suspended chairman”.
The APC national chairman, Mr Oshiomhole, and Governor Obaseki have been locked in an epic political battle in Edo State.
The political fight between the two leaders has led to a factional crisis in Edo APC and the state assembly.
A Benin High Court last week restrained a faction of APC loyal to Mr Oshiomhole from removing from office, the APC chairman in the state, Anselm Ojezua.
Mr Ojezua’s faction recently announced the “suspension” of Mr Oshiomhole from APC in the state.
Several people believed to be loyal to Mr Oshiomhole have either been relieved of their positions in the state or suspended from the party to weaken the APC national chairman’s grip on the party politics in the state.
More than 10 of the elected state lawmakers, who are yet to be inaugurated, are currently on self-exile in Abuja reportedly for fear of their safety in Edo.
There is fear that the crisis may affect the fortunes of the party in the governorship election in Edo next year.
Apart from Mr Oshiomhole and Mr Obaseki, other APC chieftains invited to the Abuja meeting are the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; the minister of state for petroleum, Timi Silva, and the minister of Niger Delta affairs, Godswill Akpabio.
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, the governor-elect of Bayelsa, David Lyon, and his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi, have also been invited to the meeting.