Edo State government on Wednesday said the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole rejected its Christmas gifts.

Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communications, Crusoe Osagie, said in a statement that Oshiomhole’s mother refused to accept the conventional Christmas presents for former governors.

He said messengers from the Government House were dispatched to deliver the gifts on Christmas eve but were turned back.

“The messengers said they met the mother of the former governor who rejected the items, stating that her son would not accept the gifts.

“The gift items include four cows and ten bags of rice,” the statement reads.

Osagie said the Christmas gifts distribution was an annual ritual by the state government which serves as an expression of love.

According to him, it was designed to further strengthen the ties between the government and the people.

Osagie said the gifts were sent to other officials, heads of security agencies, traditional rulers, religious leaders and heads of institutions of higher learning, among others.

According to the spokesman, Oshiomhole had been locked in a political tussle over the governor’s policy choices.

He said the policies focus on prioritising the peoples’ welfare as against pressures by a handful of politicians to share the state’s resources.

Osagie said the governor set the political rift aside to send the gifts to Oshiomhole.

Edo APC faction loyal to Oshiomhole praised the former governor’s mother for rejecting Obaseki’s “poisonous rice”.

Its Secretary Lawrence Okah said in a statement: “We hail Madam Oshiomhole for rejecting the rice if the story being cooked from the Edo State Government House is true.

“No responsible mother will want the enemies to kill her son. Obaseki has on several occasions threatened to ensure the removal of Oshiomhole as APC National Chairman.

“The people he told are there alive and can testify to it. So, why will he take a poisonous cow and rice to Oshiomhole’s house? Is that not deceit?

“Edo State APC commends our mother who also doubles as the mother of APC in Afemai land in rejecting that poisonous gift.

“Obaseki is like the proverbial rat that will bite you and at the same time fan the wound. Enough of his deceit and rubbish.

“He should eat his rice and cow with his newfound friends in the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) until judgment day comes.”

Oshiomhole’s media aide, Simon Ebegbulem, said he would not dignify Obaseki and his employees with a response.

He said: “I will not give credence to Obaseki’s and Crusoe’s rubbish.”