…Says Tinubu’s 2023 Presidency not feasible
By Dirisu Yakubu – Abuja
Following the victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Saturday’s governorship election in Edo state; a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Jackson Lekan Ojo has attributed the failure of the party’s candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to what he called the overbearing influence of former APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Obaseki alongside deputy governor Philip Shaibu polled a total of 307, 955 votes leaving Ize-Iyamu in second place with a total vote of 223,619 votes.
Reacting to the outcome of the election, Ojo berated Oshiomhole and APC national leader, Bola Tinubu for their display of “unnecessary influence,” adding that the manner Obaseki was treated in the build-up to the APC primary election, won him a huge number of supporters across the state.
In an exclusive chat with Vanguard, Ojo advanced reasons APC failed to pick the only state in the South it controlled for three and a half years.
“Adams Oshiomhole’s overbearing influence on the campaign train affected the chances of APC and its candidate. I know Ize-Iyamu to be a grassroots politician in Edo state politics but the involvement of Oshiomhole cost him dearly. People should realize that the forces that removed Oshiomhole as APC national chairman are still very much around.
He was removed even though he was a very powerful party chairman. That means the powers and influence he had then had now reduced drastically. So those forces fought him again and Ize-Iyamu. They never bothered about losing the governorship of Edo state because they knew that losing the governorship does not mean losing the trust of the Edo people in future elections.
“Secondly, Nigerians are not fools. They know that the high level of insecurity in the country has not been well handled by the APC-led government. The same is true of the economy and nothing is working at the moment. So, the people decided to vote against the party.
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The over 200, 000 votes Ize-Iyamu got were earned based on his personality, not because of the APC platform. The party added no value to his contest. If APC was of any help, Obaseki couldn’t have reached anywhere.
“When the leadership of APC met to remove Oshiomhole, why was Tinubu not in that meeting? Today, Tinubu is only a leader of the APC in Lagos, not even in the South-West. Tinubu in a video spoke of himself as the leader of all democrats in Nigeria.
How did he arrive at that? And Edo people said we won’t allow what you did to Akinwunmi Ambode in Lagos to happen here. Some APC governors knelt down before him to plead for Ambode but he said no. So, some APC governors decided that Tinubu would not have his way a second time.
“Tinubu ought not to have openly identified himself with the Edo election. He could have done it in disguise. The strength he wants to deploy to pursue the Presidency in 2023 has been tested in the Edo governorship election but it has shown to wield little influence.
It is a signal that Tinubu should perish his rumored Presidential ambition since he has not openly declared it. If Tinubu goes to Ondo, he would be rejected by the people and that will affect Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in the forthcoming election,” he said.
Ojo also faulted Oshiomhole’s decision to apologize for the words he used in describing Ize-Iyamu during the 2016 governorship campaign saying “I said earlier that Oshiomhole should have withdrawn himself from the campaign. If he was not a member of the campaign team, there would have been no need to apologize for the words he uttered in 2016.
The words he used in describing Ize-Iyamu in 2016 were heavy and they became campaign tools for PDP. Oshiomhole played a prominent role in the defeat Ize-Iyamu suffered in this election.”