Edo: Harsh words, as Wike alleges APC plot to void polls

Edo: Harsh words, as Wike alleges APC plot to void polls

Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was obviously not ready for the Edo State governorship elections.

As gathered by Daily Times, the governor said that the APC was working to ensure the cancellation of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In reaction to the claims made by Adams Oshiomhole and the APC party candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu that Governor Godwin Obaseki was an ingrate, Wike has said that it was the other way round. Noting that, Ize-Iyamu and Obaseki were the ungrateful individuals.

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APC also reacted to this, saying that Wike accused them of having plans to rig the forthcoming elections in Edo State.

However, Pastor Ize-Iyamu, vowed to empower and harness the agricultural potentials of Edo Central, Esan land, if elected governor of Edo State on September 19.

Wike, who spoke in Port Harcourt, was reacting to issues raised during the Edo State APC campaign last week. He said that APC had plans to cause violence in the poll to make INEC stop and cancel the election till November when Obaseki’s tenure would elapse.

Calling on the police and other security agencies to use the poll to rebuild their tarnished image, he said: “We have enough intelligence on what they want to do with the security in the election, but we will scuttle it. The Police is supposed to use Edo State election to clear their name and regain the people’s confidence in them. APC wants to ensure that there will be enough violence during the election.

“Like the Chairman of INEC has said that the election will be stopped if there is violence, they want to cause violence so that the election will stop. They are not interested in the election so that INEC will stop it and then wait till November when Obaseki’s tenure will end. It is a calculation that they do not want the election to hold because Edo people are tired of the lies from Oshiomhole.”

Besides, the governor stated that the former APC National Chairman has been decimated at APC national office but wants to fall back on Edo State.

The governor said: “Obaseki is not an ingrate, rather it is Oshiomhole that is fighting him (Obaseki) and his boy, Ize-Iyamu, who are the ingrates.

“Oshiomhole had, in 2016, said that Obaseki is the brain box behind his success as a governor. How can he now turn around to say the same person that was behind him as a brain box is now an ingrate?

“One thing that should be important in our elections is character, and Obaseki has it. Ize-Iyamu was charged to court by this APC government for corruption. Now, they are saying he has not been proven guilty. There is no fight against corruption anywhere; all we have is witch-hunting.”

Reacting to Governor Wike’s statement, Chairman, Edo State Media Campaign Council of the APC governorship election, Mr John Mayaki, said the APC was more worried about the election postponement because the party knows that Governor Obaseki is capable of “every thuggish, violent trick in the book” and that a postponement of the election can only mean that the governor is “up to his old tricks again.”

Mayaki said: “Governor Wike, like his counterpart in Edo State, Governor Obaseki, should focus on the claims against him of  alleged violation of human rights.

“I do not know if Governor Wike manufactures these tales himself or if he has a team of lazy children’s books writers, who manufacture these claims. I am torn between answering him seriously and stepping down to match his humour.

“To start with, let him provide proof for anything he said. He cannot. How does the party that is not in power plan to use the police in Edo State? He meant to accuse us but ended up insulting the Nigeria Police Force. I think they need to address the disrespectful and sickening way he spoke about them. This is not the first time that the governor has demonstrated a pedestrian restrain in his words.

“The inane speculation cannot hold water, as we stand to gain no further advantage should Mr Obaseki leave the office. Already, the state is against the man.

“Going by the dramatic way Governor Wike has conducted himself, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown, would it be incorrect to point out that Governor Wike talks shop better than he campaigns? He does it better than he governs. He needs to know that their focus now should be fabricating a manifesto that can win them at least a third of the votes in Edo State. Our simple agenda will get us all of the votes otherwise.”

Obaseki on his part said: “We must, as the government, set a new agenda, but what is painful is that traducers are ignorant about governance. “Honestly speaking, I know how to raise money to build our economy. Money is not a problem. The role of government is to serve as an enabler, to enable you to make money. Somehow I don’t know how it got to the brain of government as if it is an offence for you to make money.”

The governor, who spoke when a coalition of various unions, traders and association paid him a thank-you visit at Government House, Benin City, said: “I understand how economies are built; economies are built with small businesses. Whether we like it or not, today’s world is about technology.

“With coronavirus today, nobody can travel anywhere; you sit in your place and do your businesses. The government must make sure that it provides the infrastructure that will enable business owners to transact effectively.

“Those who are fighting us don’t know how to manage resources. They are a group of wasters. They do not know that Nigeria is much bigger, much greater than what we are seeing today.

“The government is not a businessman; the government does not know how to do business. All government responsibility is to provide an enabling environment where people can do their businesses and, in return, they pay their taxes to the government which will enable the government to continue to provide security and enabling environment. That is the fight, and except we do that, this country cannot make progress.”

On his part, APC candidate Pastor Ize-Iyamu, at the official kick-off of his campaign in the state at Igueben LGA, Esan South-East LGA, Ubiaja, and Uromi LGA, where he was received by large crowds, promised to empower and harness the agricultural potentials of Edo Central, Esan land if elected governor of the state.

Ize-Iyamu accused the incumbent Obaseki of running with a deceitful ‘Esan Agenda’ as a ploy to gain sympathetic votes, stating that the governor’s actions in the last four years have brought no development to the Esan people.

Also speaking, Oshiomhole, who was received with loud cheers from the crowd, said Obaseki failed to continue with his administrative style of implementation of plans and visible execution of projects that provide relief to the people.

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Instead, he said the incumbent Governor wasted state resources on consultants and MOUs that failed to translate into any meaningful achievement.

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Oluwadamilola Adedeji

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