The election in Edo State between the two major contenders, Mr. Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) can best be described as an election between lycans and vampires.
There is no much difference between the PDP and APC in the state as the current administration led by Adams Oshiomhole is a product of the PDP connection.
Oshiomhole was desperate to become the governor that he sold his soul to the then ruling party, and the Igbinedion family.
This is why Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu played a significant role.
Ize-Iyamu was supposed to run for the Osadebe Avenue but regarded the advice of the Igbinedion’s family to allow Oshiomhole, who at that time was very loyal.
The plan was that Oshiomhole would support Ize-Iyamu after his tenure, a plan that went sour as the governor found another candidate more reliable to his pursuit.
The two candidates in the state currently are what one could refer to as ESTABLISHMENTS.
Godwin Obaseki who headed the economic team is a product of Oshiomhole and was allegedly imposed on the party, according to many aggrieved aspirants, while Pastor Ize-Iyamu was another alleged imposition on the PDP as complained by the aggrieved PDP aspirants.
The boat is capsizing on the APC in the state at the moment for many reasons.
1. The current situation in the country under the APC.
2. Several campaign boycotts by Godwin Obaseki.
3. The bad signs detected before Buhari became the President (Forgetting his political party names at rally and interviews, missing certificate and boycotting debates).
4. Weak and bad media campaign of the APC.
5. Idisi’s family who accused Godwin Obaseki of embezzling their father’s millions and attempt by the APC candidate to block National Assembly investigation.
6. Speaking at rallies for few minutes while the governor, who is said to be on third term in disguise, talks for hours.
7. Igbinedion’s family decision to stay away from campaign, despite the speculations of backing Ize-Iyamu.
8. The invitation of President Buhari to Benin, a period the country is accusing him of running the country aground.
On the other hand, Edo people are also stuck with the decision whether to trust Pastor Ize-Iyamu due to his connection to Igbinedion family.
Lucky Igbinedion administration is still described as the worst in Edo history of governance, a period where Benin women were ridiculed and brought back from Italy with the help of the wife of the then governor, Eki Igbinedion; period of total hardship and betrayal.
The Pastor was the Chief of staff to the Edo State government and the people have not forgotten the PDP years where Pastor Ize-Iyamu played a very prominent role.
Oshiomhole has used this as his song to remind the people that the pastor cannot be trusted. In a statement issued after the soup went sour between the two former friends, Oshiomhole said:
“I kept Ize-Iyamu busy by holding night meetings and saying all the lies. I didn’t want to spend time watching Ize-Iyamu’s files.
“I never gave Pastor Ize-Iyamu government job. I gave jobs to those I trusted. Pastor Ize-Iyamu would have done to me what he did to Lucky Igbinedion.
“It was because we kept him away from government that we were able to succeed and deliver on electoral promises.
“I didn’t allow him access to public fund. Edo cannot go back to what it was before.
“I laughed when he said he made me governor. Go and check the record, on Election Day, Ize-Iyamu did not [vote] as he was hiding from the EFCC.
“I have made my name and I worked hard for the Nigerian workers. We are not tied to anybody’s apron.
In a separate interview, Ize-Iyamu apologised to Edo people for bringing Oshiomhole in without praying. He opened up that the money he spent on election was what he and others brought for him.
He said, “It was a big mistake and like you just pointed out, sorry I didn’t pray.
“I am not being malicious, even if i weren’t running; I would be very strong in condemning him because I am disappointed.
“I brought him in, all the money he spent we brought it together for him. So I feel very, very disappointed.
As expected of the Nigerian politics, there are speculations that many PDP members are working against their parties and some aggrieved APC members would want their party pay for its imposition and for bringing in what they termed inexperienced politician.
A former Local Government Chairman under the APC said yesterday that more than 60% of the current APC would have since moved to PDP if Ize-Iyamu was not the candidate.
They are not happy with Obaseki but Ize-Iyamu to them is not an alternative.