Out-going Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has repeatedly bitten the dust in all his attempts to pull the wool over the eyes of Edo electorate in a bid to de-market the candidacy of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) through all kind of subterfuge, bizarre political manipulations, including sponsored legal and media banality.
For those still in doubt, it’s worth mentioning that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has been acquitted of all the charge Governor Obaseki have tarred the Redeemed Pastor with. First, the courts have dismissed all Governor Obaseki’s sponsored court cases against Pastor Ize-Iyamu; that he is not a card carrying member of the APC and that he’s not duly elected as the candidate of the APC to fly the party’s ticket on September 19th, 2020 governorship election.
Second, the rejection of Governor Obaseki’s quests for the courts to disqualify Pastor Ize-Iyamu from the governorship race was finally laid to rest when the APC National Working Committee (NWC) ratified Ize-Iyamu’s candidature for next month’s coming election. The frustration of Barr. Anselm Ojezua, the former APC State Chairman and his collaborators to discredit and have Pastor Ize-Iyamu removed from the ballot hit the brickswall.
Now, the Governor has been caught in the bid. Instead of engaging on issue-based campaign and showcasing his achievements incumbent on his electoral promises after four years in office, the governor is intent on mobilising miscreants to create havoc on the electoral process.
For the record, Pastor Ize-Iyamu has repeatedly explained to the court and to the general public that the N700m 2015 campaign fund that has become subject of litigation was given to the late Chief Tony Anenih and Dan Orbih who were the leader of PDP and state’s party chairman respectively, at the time. The late Chief Anenih before his demise also deposed to an affidavit saying he actually received the N700m from captains of industries and distributed the money across the 18 local government areas, including the 192 wards of Edo State.
Security operatives who stood in a distance idling away around the Oba Palace confirmed to Yours Sincerely that Philip Shaibu, the Deputy Governor of Edo State gave the shot-at-sight orders to Obaseki’s known thugs to kill anyone who obstructs PDP movement in the Palace while visiting the Oba.
Up till this moment, Governor Obaseki has not prevailed on the Nigeria Police to arrest the perpetrators that unleashed terror on the protesting APC members at the Oba Palace while demanding that the Governor fulfil his electioneering promises before seeking another term of four years. Calling for the arrest and prosecution of his thugs would have meant that the Governor would be sending them to prison.
That Governor Obaseki hasn’t been invited for interrogation by the Inspector-General of Police over his drum beat of war renders his credibility as the nation’s symbol of policing authority questionable. The I-G of Police can’t deny that from intelligence gathering report from Edo State that he’s not aware Governor Obaseki and Philip Shaibu are the ones stoking the fire of war in the state. The police cannot say that they do not know those that took guns and cudgels to attack protesters at the gate of the Palace of the Oba of Benin on the day PDP paid the Oba a visit. It’s know to all that they were the Governor’s and PDP’s thugs that unleashed the mayhem. That is why they have not been arrested or prosecuted. They just tested the water and the Governor has just amplified their resolve to inflict maximum terror on the state.
Indeed the time has come for the security apparatus in the country to quickly and thoroughly investigate Governor Obaseki’s claims that the APC and Pastor Ize-Iyamu’s have stockpiled weapons to wreck havoc on the state on election day. Such alarmist call and threats is enough to cause anxiety and convulse the polity before the actual date.
Even as the Governor keeps alarming helpless citizens instead of using the police and other security agencies to mop up arms, he continues to canvass violent political engagements. It’s possible that part of the arms build-up the Governor is referring to were the ones deployed at the Oba of Benin Palace two weeks ago by him and the PDP thugs who battled and shot at the protesting APC faithfuls.
Evidently, Governor Obaseki is agitated about his imminent defeat at the polls. Conscious of the fact that he has always lost his polling unit and his ward since 2016, he needed to acquire some rigging tricks from his newly acquired godfather, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Obaseki knows he cannot win any election, and has never won one, not even now that he has been abandoned by some of his party members and some members of the Edo State House of Assembly, including the Deputy Speaker who were hitherto his fierce and loyal supporters.
In all count, Governor Godwin Obaseki’s halfhearted governance strategy has rolled back to plague his rudderless “Wake and Sleep” administration. It’s only a leader without electoral manifesto like that of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s well thought out ‘Simple Agenda’ that runs from pillar to pole in search of the people plight, midway into governance or on election day.