Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, described his predecessor and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, as a serial and pathological liar, who should not be taken serious.
This is as the governor said his administration will not be distracted by forces whose intention is to slow down the process of governance in the state.
Obaseki, who was responding to claims by Oshiomhole that he did not teach him and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, how to lose elections, said he did not only win his unit and ward during the last general election, but also polled more votes for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 elections than Oshiomhole, when he was governor during the 2015 elections.
The governor, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said: “In 2015, when Oshiomhole was governor, he polled 208,469 votes against Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) 286,869, with a 78,400 deficit. While in 2019, under Obaseki, the APC scored 267,842 votes, while the PDP got 275,691, with a 7,849 marginal loss.
“In the House of Representatives, the state had four seats for the APC, against five for the PDP in 2015, while in 2019, under Obaseki, the APC won five seats, against the PDP’s four. In the State House of Assembly, the APC won the entire 24 seats, which never happened under Oshiomhole’s administration.
“It bears repeating that the governor won his unit and ward in the general election and the marginal losses that the APC suffered in the state were orchestrated by Comrade Oshiomhole, who connived with some elements within the party to sabotage the APC, especially in Edo South in an attempt to de-market the governor politically.
“Chief among the collaborators with Oshiomhole to sabotage the President’s election in Edo South is General Charles Airhiavbere, who did not only dislodge APC’s agents at the polling booths, but also funded the opposition in some units and wards to enable them have an upper hand against the APC.
“Another instance where Oshiomhole told a blatant lie in the full glare of the public was when Governor Obaseki went to the former governor’s residence in Iyamho during the last Sallah celebration. Oshiomhole told the world that he had no issue with Obaseki and that what people were witnessing was a media construction. This has since turned out to be far from the truth.
“The suspended National Chairman also said that he appointed only one commissioner in the governor’s cabinet. This is false, as it couldn’t have been possible since he picked a good number of the people who work with the governor, including the Deputy Governor, Comrade Shaibu; Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, and many others.
“On another occasion, the former Commissioner of Police in the state, Mohammed Dan Mallam, publicly debunked the lie by Oshiomhole that his Benin residence was attacked. The CP categorically said the claim was false and that the Police, which ought to be in the know, could confirm that there was no attack on Oshiomhole’s house.”
He added that the disgraceful events that played out at the private residence of Oshiomhole when Obaseki; the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu; Dr. Aderemi Makanjuola and other guests were attacked, also exposed the lies of the former governor after he came out to twist the story.
“Comrade Oshiomhole, after the incident, said that the attack was carried out by Comrade Shaibu, but the same Shaibu was in the vehicle that was attacked. So, this goes to show that Oshiomhole never tells the truth,” he said.
The governor’s aide said with the endless tales by Oshiomhole, an average Nigerian should know by now that he doesn’t stick to one story, noting: “It is rather unfortunate. It is the manifestation of this that we see with the crisis associated with different chapters of the APC across the country.”
Meanwhile, Obaseki, who briefed journalists on the outcome of the weekly State Executive Council meeting held at the government house in Benin, said that the council reviewed the recent political situation in the state and resolved not to relent in delivering good governance to the people of Edo.
His words: “It is interesting that at a time we are receiving all the awards, which are acknowledgments of what we have achieved, there are forces from within, who are fighting the progress we have made.
“It is quite ironic that the week we were receiving awards in the area of ICT and entrepreneurship, that same week, we were being invaded from outside by some strange elements.
“Their intention is to slow us down and distract us, but with God on our side and the people that are with us, they will not succeed. We have accomplished quite a lot in the area of rethinking education in Nigeria, starting with the foundation, which is basic education.”
Meanwhile, the Edo State Chairman of APC, Anselm Ojezua, has accused Oshiomhole of lacking legitimacy, temperament and moral authority to lead the party.
Ojezua, who spoke during a World Press Conference at the APC Secretariat in Airport Road, Benin City, chronicled the role Oshiomhole played in the crisis in the state.
“Our problems started with the conduct of Primaries to elective offices in 2018. In accordance with the resolution passed by the National Executive Committee of the party, the leadership in Edo State decided on their preference for the indirect mode as the preferred one for Edo State. However, the national chairman decreed that it must be done by direct primaries. In order not to unnecessarily heat up the polity, being sensitive of the fact that he is from Edo State, we complied.
“Contrary to the calendar circulated by the National Working Committee (NWC) where a separate day was dedicated to the conduct of the exercise for each position, the NWC did not appoint a committee to conduct primaries in Edo State until the very last day. What is even worse is that the primaries which we conducted were unilaterally and arbitrarily cancelled by Oshiomhole, without reference to either the State Executive of the party or the governor of the state.
“Even a convict is first confronted with his offence before punishment is pronounced. Although we took serious exception to this naked display of abuse of power, we had to comply with his directive to conduct fresh primaries. Had we not done that, Edo would have been exposed to the fatal consequences that befell our brothers in Zamfara and a number of other states.”