Stories by Tony Osauzo
In the beginning, the governorship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), pledged to bond together, no matter what happens, in their determination to dethrone the All Progressives Congress (APC) from power in Edo State.
But as it appears, things have started falling apart among them, as one of the
aspirants, Osaro Onaiwu, has urged the leadership of the party to call another aspirant of the party, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to order, saying that his alleged denigrating comments against other aspirants of the party was unacceptable.
According to him: “Ize-Iyamu said and we have him on tape that he is the only one criticizing Oshiomhole and that none of us is doing that. Secondly, that he was the only one that gave N100,000 each to192 wards during the elections and thirdly, he is the only person that has the capacity to fight APC and that other aspirants don’t have what it takes.
“But let me remind him, he said he has structures more than three of us, during the last elections. I am from the two Ovia, we were able to deliver the two constituencies for Omosede Igbinedion to win the House of Representatives election. Mathew Iduoriyekemwen is from Ikpoba Okha, he was able to deliver EJ Agbonayinma as a House of Reps member today.
“Solomon Edebiri is from Uhumwonde, he delivered Uhumwonde votes. Pastor Ize-Iyamu is from Orhiomwon and our candidate Larry Ogieva lost the House of Representatives election. He could not deliver Larry in Orhiomwon. Urhoghide who is a senator today in Edo South, went to the court because of Orhiomnwon votes. So, if he says he is the one who can win election, he should have delivered Orhionmwon for PDP.
“Also, don’t forget he is the only aspirant among the four of us who has changed his Local Government twice. He was operating in Oredo and has now moved to Orhionmwon. Is that the kind of person you want us to trust?
“They destroyed PDP in this state that we are trying to build back. No matter the differences you had in the party, you ganged up against it and you are proud to say that you formed the Grace Group to destroy PDP and today you said you want PDP governorship ticket.
“You are proud to say that the leadership of the party at that time de-registered you and you went to form ACN, why did you not remain in the ACN that you formed, why did you not remain with Oshiomhole that you are criticizing. Was it that Oshiomhole was not doing well when you left him? If there are issues you have with Oshiomhole, go and sort it out and leave the party out of it. Don’t create an impression that you are the only one that can fight APC, we are not going to war and no individual has an exclusive right to violence.
“The party leadership in Edo State should advise him to campaign about what he wants to do for the people and not destroying other aspirants. He lacks the credibility to think he will lead us to victory. He is creating an impression that he is the only one that can fight Oshiomhole. Running me down, running Iduoriyekenwem and Edebiri down is unacceptable. The party leadership should talk to him. I just pity the party and I expect the party leadership to call him to order” Onaiwu said. But in a swift reaction, pastor Ize-Iyamu said he stood by the bond of the PDP aspirants as one, and that whoever gets the ticket, they will support.
“I never castigated anybody. I have always mentioned what I did for the party at fora where I speak; I never mentioned any aspirant’s name. “If a man is talking about how he gave money, how is that an offence? I have a right to talk about my contribution to the party. Onaiwu has been talking about how he was DG to Governors’ Forum and what he did, I never reacted to it.
“How I left PDP and came back is in the public domain. I stand by our bond and I will never run any aspirant down”, Pastor Ize- Iyamu said.
I won’t beg for APC’s ticket –Agbomhere
Youngest governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State, Blessing Agbomhere, has vowed that he would not fall on his knees to beg any godfather for the party’s ticket. Blessing, 37, said he was optimistic of winning at the primaries of the APC without begging for it.
He spoke in Benin City at the weekend after he bagged the Nigeria Legendary Hall of Fame award for Role Model and the 2016 Man of Excellence award by the Edo Arise for Democracy, Good Governance and Cultural Awareness.
Blessing said he was in governorship race not because of youthful exuberance but to tell the elders that youths in the state were ready to take over leadership positions in terms of governance.
He observed that youths in the state were only needed to drive revenue and encouraged to join cultism for political war.
The time has come for young people to demand for opportunity to serve in government at the highest level. Edo State will not go anywhere until it begins to engage young people as governors and commissioners.”
This is the time for young people to be tested. A government without the youths is not for us. We will grab the opportunity this time and there is nothing anybody can do about it.”
Those who are not for us, we will lock them in a room until the primaries are concluded. Power is not begged for. I will not kneel down to beg an individual or leader to be governor.”
President of Edo Arise, Prince Isaac Obasogie, said they picked Blessing for the award because he promised to probe past administrations if elected as governor.
He said Blessing ha s shown the temerity to tackle godfathers in the state as well as offer opportunity for the youth.
PDP chieftains carpet Ihimekpen over attack on Ize-Iyamu
Two chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, Messers Nosa Adams and Solomon Odemwingie have reacted to a statement credited to Mr. Okharedia Ihimekpen, a member of the party, that Pastor Ize-Iyamu’s criticisms of Governor Adams Oshiomhole would not earn him the party’s governorship ticket.
In a statement in Benin, the duo deescribed Ihimekpen’s comment as “sentimental nonsense and a deliberate” attempt to worm his way into the governor’s heart.
They warned the PDP to watch out as Ihimekpen was likely going to betray the party and does not wish it well in its effort to reclaim Edo State.
According to Mr. Nosa Adams, a former State Publicity of the PDP and former Executive Director to the state government , “the recent vituperations of one Okharedia Ihimekpen, a member of the PDP in Edo State, that the strident but timely criticisms of the policies, programmes and projects of the Oshiomhole Administration will not make Pastor Ize-Iyamu the party’s candidate in the September 10, 2016 governorship election, is neither here nor there.
“It exposes the desperation of one whose only abiding project is to run down and besmear Ize-Iyamu who, to all intents and purposes, he perceives as the stumbling block to the election of his aspirant as PDP’s candidate in the forth-coming election.
“The childish assertion that Ize-Iyamu will not be handed the PDP ensign on account of his criticism of Oshiomhole’s governance style, costs and achievements beggars the notion that he (Ihimekpen) is saying that PDP may consider its aspirants on their record of anti-Oshiomhole utterances they may have made during their campaigns and interviews.
“Well-meaning members of the PDP and keen observers of the party’s affairs will remember vividly that the relay of problems and controversies that culminated into the party’s defeat in 2007, had its roots in the ugly activities that rued the party’s re-registration processes that threw many members into political wilderness through deft maneuvers, positioning and artificial scarcity of membership cards.
“Pastor Ize-Iyamu was not the only victim. Thousands of PDP members were structurally demobilized. If for political expediency, Ize-Iyamu and others who suffered the same fate with him assembled in a half-house and insisted on being reabsorbed, why did the Ihimekpens of this earth continue to harbour the angst and resentment of the past, when the political wounds have been healed and soothed?
“How can Ihimekpen accuse Pastor Ize-Iyamu of making “anti-party activity an act of valour”, when he (Ihimekpen) is one of the discreet moles in the PDP with ties to people on the other side of the political divide (APC)?” , he said.
He advised Ihimekpen to imbibe the current spirit and good understanding streaming through the veins and arteries of the party founded on the need to engineer an organization that will not deal on the trivial, institute hatred and invent dissension where there is none.
On his part, Mr. Solomon Odemwingie, a former transition chairman, Ovia North East local government area of Edo State, said Ihimekpen’s reaction to Ize- Iyamu’s purported comment that he was the only PDP aspirant that criticized Oshiomhole and making allusion to what transpired in the Lucky Igbinedion’s administration not only lacked wisdom but also not in good taste.
He insisted that his action constitutes more anti-party activity especially now that unity was far more needed than any other time.
Edebiri calls for prayers, full participation of Christians
A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant for the September 10 governorship election in Edo State, Chief Solomon Edebiri, has called on Christian leaders to be fully involved in the election process of the next governor of the state.
Making the call on Sunday, at a forum organized by the State
Apostolic Network for Christian leaders in Benin, Edebiri asked Christians and their leaders to earnestly pray for a peaceful transition leading to
the election of the next governor of the state.The PDP aspirant, who contested the governorship election in 2012
under the platform of the defunct ANPP, said it was not right for
Christians to be docile when people in government derailed from governance, saying “the only time to disobey government as
Christians, is when they do what is not scriptural.
“When government is doing wrong, what do you as Christians do, fold your hands? No, we need men and women of God who will speak the truth when it is required, men and women of God who can at all times stand on the path of truth and should not tolerate evil, otherwise, we as a people will never get it right,’’ he said. He noted that as the parties prepare for primaries and the election proper, people are already preaching war.
“But the greatest task for great men and women of God is for them to begin to pray that this 2016 governorship election, no aspirant or candidate should emerge on the blood of children of this land to Government House.
“I hear people say it’s a do-or-die affair. I hear them say that gentleman no dey. That it’s okporoko for okporoko, axe for axe and dagger for dagger.
“But I do not wish for any of these. It is the responsibility of the church not just to pray but to also get involved in the electoral process by voting for a better candidate.
“Prayer does two things: It either opens doors or it closes doors. Let us therefore pray to God to close doors to evil doers and evil thinkers and open doors of peace.”
“It depends on what we ask of God. This land has experienced evil but the Bible makes us to understand that Christians
can plan key roles in whoever governs the state.
“As mothers, you must stop your children from being used as political criminals, you must bring them into the house and preach to them on the need to enthrone a good government that will guarantee them jobs.
“When they become employed, they will plan no evil. We must pray against conspiracy, betrayal and blackmail.
“President Goodluck Jonathan was a victim of blackmail and conspiracy. And here in Edo state, the people are at it again. But we must pray against these evil machinations.
“The benefit of good government is development everywhere in the
land. I don’t want to lie and make false promises. I don’t want to be
told and reminded that I have a good heart.
“But I earnestly urge you to pray for God to favour me in the
primaries and the main election for the state to experience the much needed all round development with the abundant natural and human resources,’’ he said