Edo APC Crisis: Uhuwnwode LGA Secretary, Nelson Gomez Speaks On Working Against APC In Last Elections



I have read with disappointment the report issued by the Prof. David Osifo led 3-man committee set up by the local government to try me and other party members on the spurious allegations of anti-party and sabotage in the just concluded elections. This is particularly saddening considering my efforts to ensure victory for our party and its various candidates in the elections.

I am from Eguaholor community in Isi North (Ward 07) in Uhunmwode Local Government Area. I am the LGA secretary of the APC and I vote in unit 001 of the ward. I wish to place on record that unit 001 has been a traditional stronghold of the PDP unit since 1999. As a matter of fact, before the last elections, the PDP had won 95% 0f all the elections held in that unit since 1999. It has been that bad. The opportunity of the last election was one for me to change the tide. As a loyal party man with a formidable youth base, I took upon myself, the challenge of changing the fortunes of our great party, the APC in that unit.

Preparatory for the last elections, I went home to aggressively mobilize our people. I also took advantage of the last registration exercise to shore up the unit voting strength by mobilizing voters from Benin to register there. The records are there to show that my efforts increased the voting strength of that unit by over two hundred voters. All of what I did was with my personal resources and without any support from our party or any of its candidates. I needed to position our party given that the PDP Deputy National Youth leader, who is also from that same axis of the ward was massively empowering the people with many state Government appointments, jobs and other largesse. The market in the locality was renovated, the primary school was built by the seating Governor and the secondary school was upgraded to a campus of the Edo state university, among many other benefits.

I have over the years built my political support base and strength around the women and youth of my community. This really came in handy in the election of February 25th where we won for our party, the APC in the Presidential, Senate and House of Representatives elections. All of what we did in this election was without any support from the party or any of our candidates. Even at the hit of the cash crunch, I personally sourced cash for payment to the party agents, mobilized the INEC staff and got wrappers as souvenirs for our party women. I am up till date still indebted to the tune of #370,000 on account of these election expenses.

It was therefore a rude shock when I appeared before the disciplinary committee and I was told there was a petition against me from the party I have built with enormous commitment and personal resources since I joined the All Progressives Congress (APC). Most offensive was the allegation that I worked against my party in all the elections. That for me was how not to reward party loyalty and hard work. If indeed I worked against the party in the National elections how then did we win overwhelmingly in the Presidential, Senate and House of Representatives elections? And if like they claim I also worked against the party in the House of Assembly elections, how come we couldn’t win despite winning the national elections without my support?

I went with the party to campaigns in most wards and also mobilized my ward and community to Vote for the All Progressive Congress as stated and implied above, and we got the victory for our party in all the National elections despite the Obidient tsunami that affected most other units across the Senatorial district. Again, all the expenses incurred to deliver my unit was from my personal pocket except for the #100,000 I got from the Leader of the party, Osaze Imasogie which he said was his personal support for my logistics. The party didn’t extend any support. Even the agents in my unit were paid by me. Mr Osaze Imasogie called to commend me when he saw my unit results. At what point was I involved in anti-party? Could it be that there was a clandestine plan to make the APC lose my unit in which case my ensuring victory for our party became offensive to some persons? The election results of my unit are public documents, so anyone can either refute or verify my claims.

As for the March 18th House of Assembly election, I will admit much as I regret it, that the APC lost in my unit. I will also admit that much as I was willing to, I did not put in as much effort as I did in the National elections. But for God’s sake, what could one have done in an election where my party candidate told me to my face that he did not need my support to win? The party candidate gave practical effect to this when he clearly denied me the mobilization for my unit despite having collected the same on our behalf from the party. On the eve of the election, I was going around the neighbouring villages mobilizing when I was called by my supporters that the candidate was in my village selecting PDP members that will be his eyes at the polling unit. I rushed back to avert further damage but the candidate had left before I got there. The youths in my community confronted me and in their exact words, “Na this person you want make we vote for? him say him nor even need you to win the election.” All my calls to our candidate proved abortive as he never picked up nor returned the calls.

I had to sleep in the primary school just to protect the materials even when I have a house in the community. I was inside the car all night, knowing fully well the level of desperation of the PDP. On the morning of the election, I was surprised to see the agent of our party had been changed. An unknown and unidentifiable man was there with an APC agent tag. Upon enquiry, he said he was drafted by the Candidate to be the APC agent. This again infuriated the youth who felt insulted by that action. I calmed them down and quickly got an AA party tag I had in my car to join the agent list just so I can legitimately watch over proceedings at the ballot point. It is this same last-minute effort of mine that is now being mischievously labelled as anti-party. I am not even aware AA has a candidate for the election, so who was I really working for?

Yes, there was an altercation at some point between the Legacy PDP and the Obaseki PDP which led to an open fight between them. This fight had absolutely nothing to do with me or any member of the APC as the video they claim to have will clearly show. It was at the point of the fight that I insisted that the INEC officers suspend voting because I noticed the so-called APC agent drafted in by the candidate was misleading even APC members to vote PDP. I had hoped that was an opportunity to get some other APC leaders to join me in the protest against the APC agent and his mischief. I was shocked to see that even the APC leaders the candidate empowered had all left the voting unit and some of them didn’t even vote. I was alone for over four hours, they all later came with the DPO of EHOR, by which time peace had returned and voting continued. Yes, I was ready for the unit result to be cancelled instead of the APC to lose my unit, but I didn’t get any support. All of those attempts at cancelling, if we could not win the unit and my protests against the mischievous APC agent that was drafted by the candidate, are what has now been dubbed anti-party. Who really worked against the APC?

Did I put in as much effort in the House Of Assembly election as I did in the National elections? NO!

Why and How?
• I could not have done more than the candidate, who was the major beneficiary of the election wanted me to.
• Like I stated above, I am still indebted on the expenses incurred in the first election. I could not have borrowed more for the House of Assembly election.
• I didn’t have the finances to move voters from Benin like I did in the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
• The community youth were already disenchanted by the utterances of the candidate and his unilateral replacement of the party agent on election morning was the last straw. Most of these youths left the polling unit in anger without voting.

I hereby reassure you of my loyalty to the party and urge you to immediately call to order all those fanning the ambers of disunity in our party in Uhunmwode as it portends grave danger for our party. I am a loyal party man and the secretary of the local government chapter of our great party, the APC. I pride myself in the successes of our party in my particular polling unit and ward. I therefore could not have been involved in the malfeasance I am being accused of. The defeat of the APC in the House of Assembly is indeed a dent in my personal political records which I anxiously look forward to erasing in future elections.

Yours in the service of the APC,



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