Edo 2020: Ripples in APC, PDP over Oshiomhole’s homecoming
Edo State’s political atmosphere has become highly charged since former National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, returned to the state to formally throw his weight behind his party’s candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, ahead of the September 19, 2020 Governorship Election.
We gathered that the ripple effects of his homecoming, including his recent visit to his country home and to Benin, which an observer described as ‘impressive carnivals,’ has not only elicited increased confidence in his party, the APC, but has also sent jitters in the camp of the PDP.
When he stepped out to address a mammoth crowd that gathered to welcome him at his Iyamho country home, in Edo North Senatorial District, Oshiomhole lit a fresh political fire when he said: “I have made a mistake by supporting a man who has no vision for my people. So, I want to correct my mistakes by making sure a servant of God, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, is elected as governor and kicks the snake out of the Government House.
“From now till September 19, I am here in Edo State because I am a political lion, I am not scared of anything.”
He added that his party’s candidate, Ize-Iyamu, is not a stranger to Edo politics. “He campaigned for me in 2012 and I won all the 18 local government areas of Edo State. He knows the roots, unlike the current governor, who just became governor and does not know the efforts people made to make him governor. We will kick out this MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) governor and replace him with a pastor who will sweep out the Coronavirus party by the grace of God.”
According to him, “I have come home to join you and start the process of reclaiming the house back to the family of APC. And if the people say, yes, and God says yes, there is no man born of a woman that can say no.
“So, now I have only one mission and I know it is our common mission: to bring Edo back to the part of sustainable development. We want to return to the government of the people by the people and for the people.”
Although Oshiomhole spoke in his usual combatant style, an observer, who was a prominent official in the state government and is now a PDP chieftain, said Oshiomhole’s reception, which he admitted was grand and the issues the former governor raised will not only shape the electioneering campaigns but will help the PDP to re-strategize.
“We all know Oshiomhole’s manner of talking, so we are not perturbed. But you will agree with me that no serious political party will ignore or fail to realise that his actions and utterances have actually set the tone for the governorship campaigns. I do not want to say the PDP is unaware of Oshiomhole’s style, but let me just say, we must learn from the current tempo set both by the carnivals that heralded Oshiomhole’s return and by his combatant words,” he said.
Oshiomhole had, for example, accused PDP candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki, of demolishing the house they labored to build together through alleged high handedness.
“The governor was demolishing the houses of our members while some were being jailed for trump-up charges; these are the people who fought for him to become governor. I even pleaded with those who were being persecuted to take it easy, that they shouldn’t burn the house we all laboured to build because they wanted to smoke out the snake. But now, the snake has been smoked out of the house,” he said, adding, “my mission for now would be to ensure the governor’s defeat in the governorship election scheduled for September 19.”