The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has revealed how he turned down an opportunity to succeed Lucky Igbinedion as governor in 2007 because he was convinced that it was wrong to succeed a fellow Bini man.
According to him, his belief in fairness made him to support an Afemai man in the person of Governor Adams Oshiomhole to become governor.
Ize-Iyamu stated this in Iyora-Uzaire, Governor Oshiomhole’s ward in Etsako West local government area, where he received defectors from the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by Prince Musa Braimah.
“I could have been governor in 2007 but I said a Bini man has been governor for eight years. I said a Bini man cannot become governor again. I now said that Edo North, Afemai, has never produced governor before.
“I said we must look for someone in Afemai to become governor.
“We now founded our group and finished everything when they brought Oshiomhole. They said we must help him. So I asked Oshiomhole if he wanted to become governor and he said yes, but that he didn’t know anybody since he came from Kaduna and Abuja.
“The election was so tough that three people died. When he became governor, we realised that he had a different thing in mind. People were angry and came to tell me that we have sold a ‘bad market’ to them”.
The PDP candidate said he, however, pacified the people to allow Oshiomhole run for re-election so as not to be seen as truncating Edo North’s two term and with the hope that “God will touch his heart in the second term”.
Ize-Iyamu said the governor made him director-general of his re-election campaign in a bid to secure his loyalty.
“The moment he won, he [Oshiomhole] said ‘this Pastor who has been doing anyhow, I must drive him away’. That was how he started to fight me”.
The leader of the defectors, Prince Braimah, said with the coming of his group into the PDP, the fortunes of the party in the area, which he said was hitherto poor, would now change.
He lamented that roads constructed in the area by Governor Oshiomhole have not translated into development for the people, saying, “the youths don’t have job, the women are still in the same place they were before now and there are no jobs to empower the people”.