By Clifford Ndujihe
The All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in the forthcoming Edo State governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has said the former governor of the state, Adams Oshiomhole, called him names in 2016 because he (Oshiomhole) had a bad product (Governor Godwin Obaseki) to market.
Speaking to Vanguard in an interview, Pastor Ize-Iyamu noted that it was necessary for Oshiomhole to “throw punches” at him, adding that people had a short memory, because the same Oshiomhole had, at several fora, shown appreciation for his integrity and contribution to Edo State’s development.
Asked about the 2016 spat, Ize-Iyamu said: “If during the campaigns for the 2016 governorship election he was abusing me because I was on the other side, what do you expect?
“Of course, he needed to abuse me, especially when he didn’t have a good product (Obaseki). You can imagine how Governor Obaseki started his campaign for the forthcoming election.”
Ize-Iyamu added: “They placed a big screen on Ring Road in Benin, where everybody passes. One would have thought that all he would be playing on that kind of screen are his administration’s achievements in the last four years.
“Instead of that, he is playing something about the Governor of Kano State. It was when condemnation came from within and outside Nigeria that they had to stop it.
“What has the governor of Kano State got to do with the governorship election in Edo State apart from being the chairman of APC National Campaign Council?
“Yes, Oshiomhole threw punches at me in 2016, but people tend to have a short memory. Oshiomhole was at Ben Idahosa University, when I was being given a doctorate and he spent over one hour praising me for my contributions in his government and the role I am playing in the state.
“Oshiomhole also came to my farm at one time, when I was graduating students and he listed the roles I was playing in the state.
“At my 50th birthday, there was no word he didn’t use to describe me, including the fact that if he wants to mention those who have helped him to succeed in government, there is no way my name will not be there.
“I am sure that those who had gone through campaigns before will tell you that people will call their opponents all sorts of names during electioneering campaigns, but if you allow those things to border you, they will distract you.”