Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Former House of Representative Minority Whip, Hon Samson Osagie, has said that Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki joining the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) did not come as a surprise, saying that the Governor started the process two years into his tenure.
Fielding questions from newsmen at the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie argued that the former National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, did not decampaign the party’s candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, with the trending video clips of uncomplimentary remarks about him.
The former House member maintained that the only offence Oshiomhole committed against Obaseki was that he did not join Obaseki to decimate the party.
‘As at today, the clamour for change of government in Edo State is very high and we are very confident that come September 19, APC and its candidate will win the election,’ he boasted.
On the possibility of Obaseki deploying the power of incumbency, he said: ‘That they will try to do that is not in doubt. However, whether Edo people believe in the PDP giving the past reports of the party is another matter entirely.
‘Obaseki became governor not because of whatever special thing he personally has contributed or done but because of the performance of the former governor, the former National Chairman who practically put him on his back.
‘He campaigned through the nooks and crannies of the state, invested his goodwill, his time, his energy, his resources to make that happen. Unfortunately, he has not learnt anything, that is the current governor and that will be his greatest albatross. Ize-Iyamu is set to clinch the governorship of Edo State. All that is Obaseki has is the incumbency factor,’ he said.
Asked whether Oshiomhole has burnt his credit in Edo given the way he mismanaged the candidacy of Obaseki in the party, he said: ‘I think at best that is the view of a very subjective analyst. If Oshiomhole enters Edo today, in 48 hours, Edo people will troop to his residence because he is loved by Edo people, they love him. He has an open-door policy.
‘Oshiomhole did not mismanage anything. The only offence Oshiomhole committed against Obaseki is that he did not join Obaseki to decimate the party. We have concrete evidence that even as governor, midway into his tenure, he has started working clandestinely with the PDP.
‘That he went to the PDP did not come as a surprise for us. So, he hated members of his own political party. Even those who work for him very seriously during the primaries and those who did not support people like us never supported him during his primaries. But we voted for the party elections because we are party men. This is because I know him through and through. And those who knew predicted that his candidature will be a disaster. I mean members of his family.
‘So, Oshiomhole hasn’t burnt any credit given the extent to which he has risen as National Chairman of a party. It only natural that you will have this kind of darts fired at him and that is what has happened,’ he argued.
On whether Oshiomhole has directly or indirectly, de-campaigned Ize-Iyamu considering what he said about him during the last election, he replied: ‘Have you seen what Dan Orbih said about Obaseki? Have you seen it? All is fair in war.’