Osagie Ize-Iyamu, governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state, says those who brought Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki to power, feel he has not performed up to expectation.
Speaking on Channels Television’s “Politics Today” on Wednesday, Ize-Iyamu, who picked his nomination and expression of interest forms at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja earlier in the day, said under Obaseki there has been division, rancor and insecurity in the state.
He had contested as candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2016 but lost to Obaseki. Ize-Iyamu defected to the APC in the heat of the crisis between Adams Oshiomhole, APC national chairman, and the incumbent governor. He said Oshiomhole is yet to endorse him but he would get the support of the APC national chairman after defeating Obaseki in the primary.
“Oshiomhole is not in any faction, Oshiomhole as at today remains the the national chairman of the APC. So if the governor has problems with him, that does not mean that those who respect his position as national chairman belong to a faction led by him,” he said.
“Yes, Godwin Obaseki, the governor of the state, wants to come back as governor. And yes, a lot of the leaders of the APC in the state do not agree with that, but that does not mean those who do not agree with him belong to a faction led by the national chairman.
“It is the governor who has said his second term is non-negotiable, I am surprised because he is now bringing God into it, because a man who says my second term is non-negotiable is telling you that even God cannot interfere, that is second term is beyond God, it is beyond party and nobody can say anything about it. Maybe that’s the crux of the problem, because he believes he has come to a position where nobody can even suggest that he cannot come back, but it doesn’t work in Edo state. The party that put him there has a right to determine who will go there again, and the exercise must be a transparent one.
“So, the so-called suggestion that the president said they have the right of first refusal is false, there is no such statement, please. One thing I find wrong is trying to bring the national chairman into it, because the leaders we have in Edo are strong in their own right, and if they believe governorship of the party cannot be the birthright of the incumbent, it will be very wrong for anybody to suggest they belong to Adams Oshiomole’s faction. They brought him from nowhere before, so they have a right to say they want to look elsewhere.”
Earlier, Ize-Iyamu had told reporters that it was better for the party to change administration in Edo than lose the election. “We mean well for our state. We are not looking for positions simply because we need to look for something to occupy us,” he said.
“Even though what we have now is an APC administration, we are not too happy with the pace of development. We are not happy with the rancour. We are not happy with the divisions. We are not happy with the insecurity and that cannot augur well for development. That was why we said our party cannot be changed, that it is better to change the incumbent and ensure our party remains in office.”