By Simon Ebegbulem
AHEAD of the July 14 governorship election in Edo State, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday, kicked off his second term governorship campaign in Benin City, amidst tight security and down pour.
He reiterated his 14 days ultimatum to the police to fish out the killers of his late Principal Secretary, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde and investigate the auto crash that claimed the lives of three journalists last weekend.
The downpour, which started at about 9am, yesterday, forced the ACN to move the rally till at about 1pm, but Oshiomhole defied the rain mobilizing residents of the state who turned out in their thousands to follow him to the Museum Grounds, venue of the rally.
However, soldiers took over strategic places in Benin City, searching every one passing through the King Square due to the security challenges in the state. The South South Vice-Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state and the Campaign Director of the Oshiomhole Campaign, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, said that the PDP made a mistake bringing a retired general who is not a “corporal” in Edo politics.
According to him, “they have brought a general who is not even a recruit in Oredo. We should all remember that that man is not Oshiomhole’s mate. The PDP is gone in Edo State but they have refused to understand and believe it because they felt that a godfather who has lost touch with the politics of the state and that of the nation will do the magic”.
Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, Elder Sunny Uyigue, who recently joined the ACN, former member of the House of Representatives, Patrick Obahiagbon, Senator Ehigie Uzamere, Pally Iriase, among others, declared that the PDP had no chance in the July poll, and, therefore, had resorted to blackmail and crisis in order to destabilize the state.
A one minute silence was observed for the deceased Oyerinde and the three journalists who lost their lives in last weekend motor accident. Ize-Iyamu introduced the incumbent deputy governor, Dr Pius Odubu, as Oshiomhole’s running mate.
In his speech, Odubu pointed out the developmental projects executed by the Oshiomhole administration in Edo South and warned that the people of the area must be wary “of the ethnic politics” being preached by the PDP, which, according to him, had failed.
Oshiomhole, who managed to hold his emotions, vowed that the blood of Oyerinde and that of the journalists will not go in vain. Addressing the crowd, the governor asserted: “Today, you have demonstrated that you have the capacity to withstand all weather conditions. And that is why we are different, we have no hired crowd.
“He went on: I just want to remind you that this election will be based on issues. Our opponents are not interested on issues because it will not favour them. Anenih is the god father of PDP, so nothing good will come out of Airhiavbere. When I came in as governor, I said unless we get the politics right we cannot get the development correct.
“In the past, only one man determined who became who in Edo State. If you wanted to be any thing, only one man determined who becames what from one village in Uromi. Today we have senators who Uromi dismissed that their own was finished, like Uzamere and others but we said no on Uzamere we stand.
“I respect Anenih’s age but I disagree with his politics. When a man in his 80s refuses to repent, struggling to be chairman of a board, when will a young man be chairman? So this fight against godfatherism is not about me but about our children and we cannot go back”.