Adams Oshiomhole, while he was the governor of Edo State, in 2016, portrayed Osagie Ize-Iyamu, as someone who could not be trusted with public funds.

Mr Ize-Iyamu was the governorship candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state’s election that year, and Mr Oshiomhole was campaigning for his successor, Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Today, Mr Oshiomhole is the APC national chairman, and there is a reversal of roles as Edo prepares for the governorship election in September. Mr Oshiomhole wants to remove Mr Obaseki and bring in Mr Ize-Iyamu as the next governor.

A protracted political fight between Mr Oshiomhole and Mr Obaseki has crippled the Edo State House of Assembly (14 lawmakers elected on the APC platform are yet to be inaugurated since June 2019) and factionalised the APC in the state.

Mr Ize-Iyamu, before he defected to PDP, was not just a chieftain of the APC, he directed the campaign for the election of Mr Oshiomhole as Edo governor.

Mr Ize-Iyamu’s return to APC has been a major threat to Mr Obaseki’s second term ambition.

Seven APC governorship aspirants in the state were said to have stepped down for Mr Ize-Iyamu recently.

Why I didn’t appoint Ize-Iyamu into government – Oshiomhole

“It is true we found ourselves in the region of politics working together, but I never gave him government job,” Mr Oshiomhole said of Mr Ize-Iyamu in an undated video of a 2016 APC campaign rally in Benin, Edo State.

The video is an excerpt from Channels TV’s live coverage of the rally.

Continuing, Mr Oshiomhole said, “I kept him (Ize-Iyamu) busy, let him be holding midnight meeting which he is used to. Ask him, since he was the DG (of my campaign organisation), why did I not appoint him into government?”

“We kept him away, nothing near government circle, no access to public fund.”

Mr Oshiomhole, in the 10-minute video, said Mr Ize-Iyamu was a “GM of one wuru-wuru” company and accused him of ruining the administration of Lucky Igbinedion in Edo State.

Mr Oshiomhole said the likes of Mr Ize-Iyamu would never be allowed to return to the government of Edo State.

Obaseki has ‘brain’, ‘creativity’ to work for Edo people – Oshiomhole

In the video, Mr Oshiomhole praised Mr Obaseki as one who has used his “brain” and “creativity” to work for the good of the state and the people.

In the concluding part of the video, Mr Oshiomhole, who was standing on the podium with others, including Mr Obaseki, brought up a song in praise of Mr Obaseki.

“Obaseki, you are what God says you are.

“You are a winner and not a loser.

“You are what God says you are.”

Ize-Iyamu’s reaction

PREMIUM TIMES contacted the spokesperson of Mr Ize-Iyamu’s Campaign Organisation, John Mayaki, Saturday evening, and asked him for their response to Mr Oshiomhole’s remarks in the video.

“Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande were very critical of President Buhari before 2015. They both had a re-think as all humans do, and today, both are one of President Buhari greatest admirers,” Mr Mayaki said.

“Same with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who in 2011 held former President Goodluck Jonathan’s hand, campaigning with him everywhere. Have you forgotten what happened later in 2015? Just as former President Obasanjo wrote about his Vice, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar – the former latter supported the later during his presidential bid.

“What about Femi Adesina, who in 2005 heavily criticised Prof. Ibrahim Gambari for defending the killing of Ken Saro-Wiwa by the Gen Sani Abacha government? Are they not working together today?

“Even God at a time, change(d) his mind! Who are we not to change our minds in the face of superior and obvious facts? Comrade Oshiomhole has moved on; he’s now in the same political party with Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

“The detractors must accept the new reality and face the fact that their biggest problem today is not Oshiomhole nor Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. Their problem is their inability to fulfill any of their campaign promises,” Mr Mayaki said, apparently insinuating that the video was being circulated by Mr Obaseki’s camp.

Mr Mayaki sent a video to PREMIUM TIMES, showing Mr Oshiomhole, while he was still governor, praising Mr Ize-Iyamu as a “friend, a brother, a colleague, and a political warrior.”

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