Tony Osauzo and Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
A stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Hon. Charles Idahosa, has threatened that he would leave the party should the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, be forced out of it.
He predicted that the APC will die in Edo state if Obaseki is allowed to leave the party due to the unabated crisis plaguing it in the state.
Idahosa, a former political adviser to former governor Adams Oshiomhole, made the remarks while addressing journalists at his Benin City residence.
“I will be the first to go,” he said. “There is no doubt about that. I will not deceive myself. If Obaseki is forced out of the party, I repeat it and I know because I have never backed any wrong one, because I know what is happening. APC will die here because… the question we must ask ourselves is simple: Is he working? Is he doing well?
“We know of governors that they are accusing of not working; he did not pay salaries for months but nobody is accusing Obaseki of non performance,” he said.
Idahosa stated that it was embarrassing for some individuals in the state to have taken to social media to attack the governor by calling him an ingrate, whild the immediate past governor of the state, Adams Oshiomhole, is being praised.
“And the most important issue that I want to explain, in social media everywhere, they are portraying Godwin Obaseki as an ungrateful person, which is very strange; but unfortunately, a lot of people do not have information about what is going on so I needed to throw light on that.
“Oshiomhole is ingratitude, ungrateful person personified. Now, let me give you a situation. When you start a story from the middle, it is not a proper story.
“He made Obaseki. I am aware that Obaseki went to Eghosa Anglican Grammar School, where I knew him as a school boy. I cannot remember him telling me the story that he went to a tailoring institution where they must have met. But I do know they met before Oshiomhole became governor.
“And I have it on proper record that Chief Elama Oseni made the meeting between Obaseki and Oshiomhole possible.
“He took Oshiomhole to Obaseki, this was before governorship, while he was looking for me. It was Obaseki that brought other people to do a launching, that was the seed money, hundreds of millions of naira that Obaseki raised for Oshiomhole to come to Benin to come and pursue his governorship ambition, incidentally against me because I ran that ticket with him.
“And I challenged Obaseki then and I said: ‘you knew your senior was in this race, why were you supporting an outsider?’ He just laughed and we left together.
“So, it hurts me when people say Oshiomhole helped him. Who helped each other first? It was Obaseki that raised all the money for Oshiomhole,” Idahosa explained.
He added that: “Captain Hosa Okunbo, Tunde Ayeni, those were the people that packaged the whole thing together. He [Oshiomhole] had no dime when he was coming to Benin to run.
“I was already living in this house that you people are interviewing me when he went to rent a place in Aziz Garuba’s place by Benoni hospital. That is how he came to town.
“So that story of he made Obaseki, after Obaseki raised this money for him, the Igbinedions moved in. Lucky Igbinedion and Gabriel Igbinedion, the father and the son, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, they gathered another set of people, raised money for him and that is how he started, including Irabor who was in charge of Maritime.
“Tell me out of all these people, who is Oshiomhole’s friend today? Tell me of all these people Oshiomhole has shown gratitude to. So this story that he made Obaseki – Obaseki made him.
“Obaseki gave him a blueprint on how he will run Edo State. He could not understand the blueprint; he pleaded with him: ‘come and be the chairman of my economic team so that you can run this state.’ That is how Godwin Obaseki agreed to come to Benin.
“He worked for eight years as chairman of the economic team without collecting anything. I stand here to be challenged. He did not receive a kobo for allowance for eight years; he did it for free,” Idahosa recalled.
He said Oshiomhole should not blame Godwin Obaseki, Philip Shaibu, Osarodion Ogie and others for fighting against godfatherism he once fought against, adding that they are only doing what he taught them.
“Oshiomhole taught Obaseki how to fight godfatherism and that is what he is doing now,” pointing out that the current crisis rocking the party in the state can only be resolved when those involved agreed to follow the party’s decision.
“The way forward is for the Abuja and Benin based lawmakers to take the decision of the party in the state.”