By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN â€” FORMER Senate Chief Whip and leader of Action Congress, AC, in Edo State, Senator Rowland Owie, yesterday, described as untrue reports that he had dumped the party for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to assist former President Ibrahim Babangida achieve his presidential ambition in the South-South.
Owie, who described the reports as mischievous and an attempt by mischief makers to rubbish his good name, noted that though he was a close political associate of the former President, his main focus now was to assist Action Congressâ€™ government in the state to fulfill the promises made to the people.
It would be recalled that Senator Owie had in 2002 dumped the PDP while he was in the Senate, after he described the party as an assembly of the ungodly.
Owie, who reacted to the reports published in some national dailies (not Vanguard), asserted that anybody, who knew him in the politics of the country should know that he does not play politics privately.
He said, â€œWhen I take any political decision, I take it in the open and I do not play double game.
â€œI was the first Nigerian to leave a government party for the opposition. Opposition at the state and Federal level.
â€œWhen I was the Senate Chief Whip, I left PDP in June 2002 for ANPP. ANPP was not in government in Edo State and it was not at the Federal. And I did this because I believed that the opposition can be strengthened so as to have a strong democracy.
â€œI take risk in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ any time. But the truth is I am a leader of the AC in Edo State and I still remain a leader of the AC.
â€œIt is true that IBB is my friend and family member. There could be new political parties but no new friendship and no new family. So if IBB becomes a presidential candidate in 2011, I will definitely vote for IBB. It does not matter which political party I belong.
â€œI will vote for him because I believe he can change this country for the better. So talk of leaving AC now for PDP has not arisen. I remain an AC member and if I am going to take any different decision, I will tell the world.
Between Oshiomhole, IBB
â€œAs of today, the only thing that can take my vote away or that can make me confused is if Adams Oshiomhole is running for presidency in 2011. If he is running, I will share my family into two. Some will vote for Oshiomhole, while some will vote for IBB.
â€œAs far as I am concerned, my duty today is to support Governor Oshiomhole that I saw into government with the help of other people, so that he can fulfill what we promised the people of Edo State.â€