Says Gov. heading to PDP
By CHARLES KUMOLU, Deputy Editor
A former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Patrick Ikhariale, in this interview, says Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki was suspended by some party leaders because he has become a liability to All Progressives Congres, APC. He also speaks on other contentious issues in the state.
APC leaders who are opposed to Governor Obaskei’s re-election held a press conference last week and insisted he would not be supported for a second term. What is the problem?
It has to do with betrayal and ingratitude. The affairs of APC in Edo State have been going in the wrong direction. We are on the verge of losing membership in the party. People were highly dissatisfied with the manner the party was being supervised by the former executive committee led by Anselm Ojezua. Party members, who worked so hard to get the governor into power, have been abandoned and they can’t even visit the Government House to see their governor. People are not invited to political meetings. They only deal with a few of their cronies. Again, people are dissatisfied with the state of infrastructure in the state, particularly Benin City. Like we did mention a few days ago during our press conference, Edo State particularly Benin City suffered during the last raining season. Some houses were submerged and it is even on record that some lives were lost as a result of flooding in Benin. The people realising that if they were to be continuity with the Benin Water Storm project started by Oshiomhole, which the incumbent abandoned, they wouldn’t have experienced the disaster. It took Oshiomhole a lot to upgrade the schools in Edo but the ones he did not touch have been left the way they are. Most schools, both tertiary and secondary have been abandoned. Of particular reference is the New Era College which is supposed to be a legacy project for the APC government in Edo State. A lot of money was spent to upgrade the school but the school is under lock and key. And it is more embarrassing that we have a government and this is happening. Schools in Ekiadolor, Igueben, and Iguorakhi, are under lock and key.
Allowing him to come back in 2020 would be disastrous.
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But his supporters claim he is performing…
Even in the Abacha years, some people asked him to remain in power. Anybody who says Obaseki is working is either not from Edo State or the person is a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP member. I think the PDP people are pretending to love him. They tell him what he wants to hear. They know a lot of things have gone wrong. We saw how Oshiomhole solved the flood problem at 5-Junction, Benin City. We saw the Auchi erosion management and other things done by Oshiomhole. It is on record that most of the roads constructed by Obaseki have all gone bad even before the contractors left the sites. He abandoned the Benin Central Hospital which was built and equipped by Oshiomhole. He refused to open it until the hue and cry. The only attention he gave to the hospital was to blackmail Oshiomhole, saying the project was not properly executed. 80 percent of the problem we are having at the moment is not unconnected with the way Obaseki operates. During the last APC primaries, Obaseki never allowed the rightful candidates to have access to materials. He cajoled people to drop out of the race. Those who resisted him were blacklisted and treated as enemies. He brought unpopular candidates and they lost the election. Obaseki made APC lose Edo Central to PDP.
One would have thought that he would have a sober reflection and inaugurate the House of Assembly properly. He ignored the National Assembly and the APC leadership who asked him to do the right thing. Rather he got a court order to stop further inauguration of the House. These are avoidable issues. He thinks those who voted these lawmakers would be happy to vote for him during the governorship election.
We have witnessed gale of suspensions recently. A group said they have removed the state chairman while another said they have suspended Oshiomhole. What is the true situation?
The truth is that the former chairman, Anslem Ojezua was duly and legally removed because 11 members of the state executive council approved his removal. He is gone and the National Working Committee NWC has ratified his removal. Col. Imose ,retd, is the new chairman. The alleged suspension of Oshiomhole does not hold water because Obaseki gathered members of his cabinet at Government House and said they have suspended the national chairman. That is laughable. These people have perfected plans to defect to the PDP. The leadership of PDP in Edo is in crisis because some of their members are privy to the deal between Obaseki and their leaders. They agreed that he would defect but on certain conditions. When some PDP leaders heard about it they became angry because they have governorship aspirants too. They know that the governor has no electoral value so he is coming to kill the PDP the more. In the last presidential election, he lost his unit, his ward, and Local Government Area. How can you take that kind of man seriously? On the day of the presidential election, he went to play golf shortly after he voted and he did not care whether President Buhari won or not. He didn’t even care whether his National Assembly candidates won or not. If Oshiomhole had gone to play golf on the day of his election would he have won? Ize-Iyamu would have beaten him silly. The man is a liability to APC and that is why the PDP members are not even excited that he is coming to join them. He has nobody and you will find out very soon that all the people around him would dump him. They know he is not a party man. He would take his bag to Lagos where he comes from. God would judge him for what he did to party members.