By Balarabe Oshiafi
As the scramble for Governor Godwin Obaseki’s successor in 2024 intensifies, the Assistant Welfare Officer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Suleiman Bagudu, has denied claims that he has been suspended on account of his supporting the governorship aspiration of former Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba.
In a release he signed himself, Bagudu posited that support for a political product in electioneering seasons is his fundamental human right and ought, ordinarily, not to provoke any controversies.
Suleiman Bagudu, who is a former Chairman of Etsako-Central local government area (LGA) explained that his explanation was engendered by the many calls for clarification that he has been receiving from his colleagues and associates.
According to him: “Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have bothered to respond to such trivialities because of the characters that are being rumoured to have been involved in such juvenile activities. However, taking into consideration the number of well-meaning party men , women, supporters, and friends that have called me for clarifications, I have decided to respond accordingly.
“First, it is important to state that as a true citizen of Nigeria where constitutional democracy that is anchored on the rule of law is practiced and as a foundation member of APC, I have the right to associate, support, adopt and endorse any aspirant that I so wish for any elective position in Nigeria.
“I enjoy the constitutional rights of every party member as enshrined in the APC Constitution. I also strongly believe, it is in exercise of this constitutional right that our respected Chairman of the party in Edo State convened a meeting of the State Exco and all LGA Chairmen and announced that he was contesting the Edo 2024 election under or party’s platform.
“Till date, he remains in the party as well as the State Chairman of the party. So , if the State Chairman can convene a meeting for himself as an aspirant of the party, what could be the imagination of the mischief makers that allegedly muted a purported suspension on another party member for supporting an aspirant?
“May I remind us that the former national chairman of our party, Sen. Adamu came out openly to announce his preferred candidate few days to the presidential primaries. Maybe this too is a misconduct.
“Also, I am a leader in Zone 3 of APC in Etsako Central Local Government Area. As such, I am privileged to be in the know of the decision of the zone, endorsing Prince Clem Agba as the choice of the zone for the forthcoming APC Primary. As a leader in the zone, that decision is also binding on me, and I wholeheartedly stand by it in its entirety.
“Again, I wish to state without any form of equivocation that at no point, did anyone, either as an APC leader or acting as an organ of APC, invite or question me for any alleged wrong doing in respect of my membership of APC or as the Assistant Welfare Officer of APC in Edo State.
“In view of the foregoing, the purported news that is being peddled in social media allegedly suspending me is a mere mischievous attempt by a few politically misguided elements to cause disaffection in APC. It holds no water, and it is of no consequence whatsoever.
“I remain a bonafide member of APC, and I am the Assistant Welfare Officer of APC in Edo State.
“Finally I enjoin all APC members and all organs of the party at all levels to disregard the purported suspension as we all continue in our concerted efforts to defeat PDP and other parties in the forthcoming Edo 2024 gubernatorial election.”