…As Camps Take On Lingering Question
- Governor Wike: Oshiomhole’s Opinion On Ize-Iyamu Can Be Taken To The Bank
- Ize-Iyamu’s Campaign: ‘The real bad product is the dying PDP and its band of tax-collectors’
The camps of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki have shifted conversations to answering the lingering question: who is the bad product in the Edo governorship race?
This has formed recent political musings as fiery exchange, rival clashes and brickbats continue to fester less than two months to the off-season guber poll in the state.
In the latest string of verbal attacks, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike who doubles as the Chairman of the Edo State Governorship Campaign Council, described APC’s Ize-Iyamu as a bad product, who would be a hard sell to the discerning Edo voters.
“If he (Adams Oshiomhole) tells you that a particular politician is a bad product that cannot be sold, you can take that to the bank and keep your money or better still invest it in a better product that will give you more value for your money,” Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Paulinus Nsirim who spoke on behalf of Governor Wike said on a popular TV programme, monitored by The New Diplomat, Thursday.
But Ize-Iyamu quickly fired back at Wike, noting that he only became a bad product the moment he jumped ship from the PDP to APC. He said the lingering question would be answered by the electorates in Edo and not Governor Wike who has been throwing political jibes all over the place since he got a new role to lead the PDP campaign.
Ize-Iyamu said: “When did I become a bad product? When I left PDP as their gubernatorial candidate and became an APC member?
“It is not Wike who will determine who is a good product. Edo people will decide,” the APC candidate said.
Wike’s Commissioner continued: “Wike after an analysis, backed with supporting video footages from the campaigns of the last election in the state, he declared with unequivocal clarity, that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the Edo State governorship candidate of APC is a bad product and you cannot sell a bad product to good and discerning people of Edo State.
“Wike said Adams Oshiomhole told Edo people that Ize-Iyamu was rusticated from school; that he poured acid on a fellow student that destroyed his manhood.
“That he is an armed robber that cannot be trusted with money. Such a character cannot be accepted by Edo people as Governor during the election.
“I respect the Bini tradition and I know that Edo people are educated to know that Oshiomhole cannot play on their intelligence. If he is now retracting what he said of Ize-Iyamu, who is sure that he’s saying the correct thing now.
“Oshiomhole’s sudden U-turn is a great insult on Edo people. This is an opportunity for Edo people, both at home and in the Diaspora, to use their votes to tell Oshiomole that they cannot take his lies anymore.
“From all indications, it is obvious that there is no strong opposition against Obaseki and he will win convincingly.”
According to Wike, the reported labeling of Ize-Iyamu as a bad product that cannot be sold to the Edo people by the former APC National Chairman has shored up the chances of Obaseki at the poll.
He added: “It makes it easy for the governor to now concentrate his campaign on issues of governance and his numerous achievements in the last four years.
“Sadly, Pastor Ize-Iyamu has nothing to offer Edo people, except the empty promises, which even Oshiomhole has dismissed by telling the world that Ize-Iyamu tells lies too much.
“The only hope the APC is relying on now, according to Governor Wike, is to rig the Edo State governorship elections, because it knows that the people of the state will not buy the bad product Oshiomhole is presenting as the party’s candidate in the September 19 governorship elections.
“This has prompted Wike to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, to leave a lasting democratic legacy behind, by ensuring that the Edo State guber election is free and fair and devoid of the intimidation and threatened subversion of the electoral laws, which some APC members are planning to unleash on Edo people on election day.
“It was not easy to have a sole candidate for the party in Edo state. People thought there will be problems, given the fact that Obaseki was coming from another party. But party members who are grounded and believe in the Party didn’t see any sacrifice too much to make.”
Reacting to the submissions by Wike, Chairman, Edo State APC Campaign Council, Mr. John Mayaki, said in a statement that the Governor had already nailed the PDP by tagging it as a party of “tax-collectors”, stating that the PDP and its candidate, Obaseki are the real bad products.
“The real bad product is the dying PDP and its band of tax-collectors as described by the same man, Wike, who alerted the world to how the leaders of his party sold its ticket to Obaseki.
“They are stuck with a man they roundly condemned as a failure. The verdict of the PDP on the third anniversary of Obaseki’s administration is available for all to read.
“To quote Dan Orbih, who is Wike’s stooge and the then PDP-Chairman directly, ‘the governor has not delivered on the 200,000 jobs he promised youths in Edo State. Our roads are begging for attention. There is worsening insecurity, in spite of the huge amount of security vote he withdraws monthly’.
“We believe Nigerians know not to take the likes of Wike seriously. His interest in Edo State is very curious.
“Why did he reverse his decision to hands-off when his attempt to nominate Orbih as Obaseki’s running mate was rebuffed by the PDP tax collectors after money exchanged hands?
“Wike’s reckless outbursts and mouth diarrhoea, which saw him disparage his state’s traditional rulers have already discredited him before well-meaning Nigerians. He is inconsequential in Edo State and his endless rants are of no effect.
“Ize-Iyamu continues to enjoy the goodwill of Edo people as seen in the rising number of endorsements recorded daily. It is of no doubt, at this point, that he is going to win the election by a landslide,” the APC said.
In the meantime, the question on many lips as the Edo September 19 governorship election looms remains: who is the bad product?