The governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki, has explained why he visited the national leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Obaseki also denied secretly obtaining the nomination and expression of interest forms of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Edo 2020:
“The reason why I went to see our national leader is that I do not want the party torn apart. I am a man of peace.”
Obaseki said he and his colleague governors on the platform of the APC cannot see their pay so weakened and will not take measures to rebuild it by suing for peace and harmony. “That is why I joined my colleagues to go and see the leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to assure him that we are all working for the same cause, we are all working to build our party. “From 26 states, we are now 20. We don’t want to lose any more state; there is no reason to. We should all drop our ego and work for our party and the unity of our country,” he said.
Meanwhile, as intrigues continue to play out in the politics of Edo state, the ploys being channelled to make Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu the flagbearer of the APC suffered a setback on Tuesday, June 2.
Loyalists, who belong to Adams Oshiomhole APC faction in Edo, have been reported to have backed down after more aspirants joined Governor Obaseki in picking nomination and expression of interest forms.
It would be recalled that the crisis buffeting Edo APC hit the crescendo following a spark in the feud between Obaseki and his former godfather Oshiomhole, with the former probing the latter of alleged white paper corruption. Ize-Iyamu, who was recently given a waiver to contest by APC, seemed to be coasting in victories with the backing of the APC national chairman and other Edo political leaders. In another related report, Governor Obaseki claimed that Oshiomhole, his predecessor and APC national chairman, had no money when he contested the governorship election in 2007.
Recall that Oshiomhole contested the Edo guber election in 2007 on the platform of the then Action Congress (AC) but lost to Oserheimen Osunbor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The current national chairman of the ruling APC, however, challenged the outcome of the election in court and was declared winner one year later. Speaking with newsmen after submitting his nomination and expression of interest forms for the 2020 governorship election on Wednesday, June 3, Governor Obaseki said he not only helped Oshiomhole into power but also made sacrifices to ensure he emerged national chairman of the ruling party.
The embattled governor of Edo state said it is wrong for people to say he betrayed Oshiomhole. “In life, everybody gets helped, everybody gets assisted. The person you talked about (Oshiomhole), he had no money when he left labour to contest. We knew what we did to make him Governor,” he said.
“I sacrificed eight years of my life pro bono, I collected to no Kobo to serve him in Edo. Today, we know what we have built because of where we started from. So, when you talk of betrayal, the biggest betrayal can be when people betray a cause, when they betray an idea.
“So, when you talk about betrayal, let us be very clear. I want to put it on record that I am grateful, he assisted me just as I assisted him. I know the sacrifices we made to make him national chairman.”