Ize-Iyamu and Oshiomhole

By Gabriel Olawale

Leaders of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State have described as normal the ‘fierce exchange of words’ between the National Chairman of the Party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu in 2016 when both men were on different political sides in the build-up to the election that produced the incumbent Godwin Obaseki.

Responding to a letter addressed to the President by persons with alleged fake identities criticizing Ize-Iyamu, the leaders from the three senatorial zones of Edo State explained that both Oshiomhole and Ize-Iyamu have since put the events of the 2016 election behind them and attempts by some persons to hinge their opposition to Ize-Iyamu on this is baseless, as does the other claim that he is ‘new’ to the party.

They said: “In the letter of lies sent to Your Excellency, the faceless authors mentioned the 2016 Gubernatorial Campaign in Edo State, in a futile bid to revive the fierce exchanges that are normal during electoral campaigns.”

“However, they sought to hinge on the exchanges with the intention of spreading the falsehood that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is not politically marketable. They mentioned that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, while campaigning vigorously against Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, made statements that are neither unusual nor unexpected in a political campaign. However, they failed to mention the glowing words the same Comrade Adams Oshiomhole showered on the Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu when he turned 50 years of age. In the letter personally signed by Comrade Oshiomhole, he specially praised Pastor Ize-Iyamu’s competence, resourcefulness, diplomatic temperament, intelligence, and uncommon wisdom which paved the way for the great electoral victories enjoyed at the time by the ACN, one of the parties that merged to form the APC in 2013.”

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“These faceless individuals did not mention that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, was the Chairman of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s 1st year anniversary in office as Governor of Edo State. They did not mention that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu was the Director-General of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s 2nd term campaign in 2012 in which the party recorded resounding victory winning in all 18 Local Government Areas of Edo State, a victory which has not been matched till date.”

They also pointed out the immediate gains of Pastor Ize Iyamu’s return to the party while juxtaposing his political strength and extensive network across the 18 LGAs of the state against the weakness of Obaseki who, according to them, couldn’t even win elections in his own Senatorial district.

“Few years after being forced by betrayal, lies and deceit to exit from the APC which he helped to build, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu returned several months ago. His return was inspired by the yearnings of the good people of Edo State, and encouraged by genuine leaders of the APC who are interested in ensuring that the APC is re-positioned to win future elections in Edo State, a situation that had become doubtful because of the non-inclusive politics of Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the current Governor.”

“Since returning back to the party fold, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has expectedly brought back the resourcefulness and competence that he is well-known for, which has made the APC become even more attractive to Edo people. However, once again, the calumny and vendetta that led to his initial exodus are being re-enacted by the same persons who do not have the party’s interest at heart. These are individuals who feel entitled to power, believing that leadership is an inheritance that shouldn’t be contested based on the supremacy of ideas and arguments, for the betterment of the people.”

The leaders frowned at what they described as the ‘dredging up’ of a court case with the EFCC to soil the image of Ize Iyamu, citing the dismissal of similar cases in Yobe and Kwara states as proof that its baseless and has no legs to stand on. They also warned of the dangers of fielding Obaseki as the candidate of the party in the election given the inconsistencies in academic credentials and how a similar situation led to the upturning of the party’s victory in Bayelsa State.


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