A member of the Edo State PDP, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has responded to Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s allegations, maintaining that the Governor owes him gratitude for helping him become the Governor of Edo State.
Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, had earlier in the week, during an interview on the Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, accused Ize-Iyamu of working against his party; the PDP in a desperate attempt to become governor after Lucky Igbinedion, despite the zoning structure that held sway in the party.
Oshiomhole’s allegations were in reaction to Ize-Iyamu, who purportedly claimed on television that he made him a Governor. The Governor wondered how he could say such when “by 2007 (Pastor Ize-Iyamu) on election day was restricted by EFCC, he couldn’t come out for fear of arrest”.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu, however, in a conversation on the Monday edition of the same TV programme, noted that it was sad that the Governor would make such statements against him; “with all modesty, God used me to assist him (in becoming Governor).
“He said on election day I was restricted but he knows I coordinated his election in 2007. It will interest you to note that even at 10AM on election day, Adams Oshiomhole called me to say that he wasn’t doing again, that he was coming back to Benin to address a press conference that the malpractices were too much.
“I told him on the phone he should go back to his village. ‘How can you on election day say you’re going back? Who will listen to you? Just give the thing a chance, after election we can compare notes’. He asked if I was sure, I said go back. He then told me he was doing a U-turn at Auchi Polytechnic.
“Later when he was declared Governor, I told him, ‘you remember when you called me, if you had not called me and you came to Benin to say you were withdrawing, would you be Governor?’ He laughed and he thanked me. This is just one among several incidents.
“Many of the local governments on that day, he doesn’t know what happened, I coordinated them and when they announced that he lost, ask him, that evening where was he? He called me again to ask where does he meet me and I told him to come to Bright Igbinedion’s house and lets work out a plan to deal with this issue.
“I was the one who set up a team immediately that night to begin to collate results on what was to be done. He came there totally dejected.
“When money was being put together for the election a day or two before, ask him who coordinated it. Let me state categorically that all the money that was used for the election came for two principal sources; one I will not like to mention, the second one from Captain Uzah, who in this interview he mentioned as one Captain Uzah – a man who was your benefactor.
“A man who gave you all the money for your election, now you refer to him as one Capt. Uzah, simply because they have seen through you and they have moved on; it’s unfortunate.
“He could not even bring money for his election, people gave him money but he used it for other things.”
The Pastor also went further to recount how he became an associate of Governor Oshiomhole. He said that the then aspirant came to him when he was the Secretary to the State Government under former Governor Lucky Igbinedion, to ask for his support of his ambition.
He added that Mr Oshiomhole acknowledged that he (Ize-Iyamu) was equally interested in the position but he would like to appeal to him to step down and support him, which he eventually did with an advice for him not to run on the Labour Party because it would not work, an advise Oshiomhole readily embraced “if I would assist him”.
He recalled that the decision to come to him several times, seeking help in getting support and finding a platform was because he (Oshiomhole) had been rejected by the PDP, and his attempt at joining the ANPP had caused problems.
On the allegations that he worked against his party, the PDP, towards the election for his selfish ambition, Ize-Iyamu said that reference to that showed why the Governor should be grateful to him.
“If (Governor) Lucky Igbinedion and Chief Anenih had agreed that the governorship should go to Edo Central, where he doesn’t come from and I opposed it and ensured that the governorship now went to Edo North where he comes from, he owes me gratitude.”
Mr Ize-Iyamu had since left the All Progressives Congress (APC) and returned to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) saying he did not believe in hypocrisy as what he thought was a better alternative had become worse.
The situation in the Edo State House of Assembly also came to the fore and Ize-Iyamu reaffirmed that the situation warranted his decamping as “whatever is happening the House of Assembly was created by the Governor himself.”