Tony Osauzo, Benin
The governorship candidate of the Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC) for the September 19 gubernatorial election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, yesterday, reacted to claims by Labour Party candidate, Dr. Isaiah Osifo, that the APC bears a moral burden for fielding him (Ize-Iyamu) in the election.
Osifo, while addressing journalists in Benin City last Thursday, had criticized the APC for nominating Ize-Iyamu who he said was currently standing criminal trial over alleged N700 million money laundering as its candidate.
But yesterday, Ize-Iyamu fired back, accusing Mr. Isaiah Osifo, of being a lackey of Governor Godwin Obaseki planted in the Labour Party to regurgitate scripts handed to him by his paymaster.
In a press statement by Mr. John Mayaki, the Director of Communication and Media of his Campaign Organization, Ize-Iyamu berated Isaiah Osifo for availing himself to be used as another mouthpiece for the PDP’s smear campaign and deliberate spread of misinformation, wondering why Osifo skipped Dan Orbih and Tony Aziegbeni, the Edo PDP Leaders who are both party to the court case he baselessly harped on.
“We found it incongruous that as a PhD holder, even if obtained from a yet-to-be-identified online program, Dr. Isaiah Osifo willingly sacrificed his integrity to join in the ignorant smear campaign of the PDP which unfortunately equates being named to a case where no court pronouncement has been made as evidence of wrongdoing.
“It is even more surprising, yet revealing of intent, how in his empty tirades in a press conference fully funded by Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the outgoing Governor of Edo State who facilitated the controversial emergence of Dr. Osifo as Labour Party’s candidate, the so-called Professor conveniently left out Dan Orbih and Tony Aziegbemi, erstwhile and present Chairman of the PDP, who are both parties to the court case he dubiously tagged a criminal prosecution.
“As recent as June, Dr. Isaiah Osifo was a member of the PDP where he indicated interest in the party’s ticket as he routinely does every four years to enjoy momentary news mentions and proceeds of negotiations. His late-hour exit for the Labour Party was facilitated by Governor Godwin Obaseki who refunded the party’s original sole aspirant the nearly 1 million naira he spent on forms and singlehandedly installed Osifo to carry out his bidding, one of which he displayed in the shameful press conference.
“We urge Edo people not to heed the words of political jobbers and businessmen who only surface every election cycle to blackmail desperados like Mr. Godwin Obaseki into either purchasing their voice or silence.
“Dr. Isaiah Osifo knows that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is not in the business of offering payment for support, hence his submission to Obaseki to enjoy a share of the 15 billion naira loot.
“The problem with people like Osifo is that they have no true mind of their own and they do not care how their actions affect the democracy of the state, especially the chances of mushroom parties growing into a relevant force. Political jobbers like Dr. Isaiah do the biddings of the highest bidders, and as Obaseki is the reigning moneybag with Edo people’s money, Osifo’s mouth is full of his words which he mindlessly regurgitates.
“The concerted attack on the person of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, even to the point of planting charlatans in mushroom parties to portray a false cross-party alliance, only shows that Mr. Godwin Obaseki is running scared and he knows what is now obvious to everyone that he stands no chance at the polls on the 19th of September. We want to assure him that he cannot avoid what has already been destined for him”, the statement said.