By Bisi Olaniyi, Southsouth Bureau Chief
A chieftain of the Individuals’s Democratic Get together (PDP) in Edo State, Okharedia Ihimekpen, has cautioned leaders and members of his occasion to not underrate the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) within the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
Ihimekpen, Monday at an interactive session with reporters in Benin, expressed optimism that Governor Godwin Obaseki would emerge victorious on September 19, however added that PDP members in Edo should work a lot more durable.
He mentioned: “I do know that Pastor Ize- Iyamu is a robust tactician, he’s very good in planning and he’s a grassroots man. You don’t underrate him, in the event you do; it’s at your peril. So, in the event you say ‘I’m a governor, nothing is occurring,’ you sit down and swim in pleasure, pondering that you’ve arrived; you’ll solely be deceiving your self. If you don’t shut mark Pastor Ize-Iyamu, you’ll be shocked.
“Have a look at the person who Pastor Ize-Iyamu picked as his working mate, Hon. Ganiyu Audu, additionally a grassroots politician from Edo North Senatorial District because the deputy to Governor Obaseki, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu. Hon. Audu is the engine room of Edo North Senatorial District and he is an ideal gentleman, who is aware of what politics is all about.
“The mixture of Pastor Ize-Iyamu, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (former Nationwide Chairman of APC/ex-Governor of Edo State) and Audu, coupled with the sympathy of the folks of Edo North Senatorial District for his or her son (Oshiomhole) is a hazard that the PDP members should cope with.
“PDP members in Edo State can survive on September 19, if they begin planning now. It might curiosity you to know from the experiences on my desk that Pastor Ize-Iyamu has arrange 25 committees to fight PDP, however the PDP members are nonetheless consuming, believing we now have gained.”
Ihimekpen, who was among the many six those that held the primary assembly of the PDP in 1998, identified that regardless of 14 political events taking part within the September 19 governorship election in Edo state, it will be a battle between Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu.
He mentioned: “Successful the September 19 election is a 50/50 probability for Governor Obaseki, as a result of the catastrophe that occurred to Comrade Oshiomhole these days has introduced all of the folks of Edo North Senatorial District collectively to be in sympathy with him. You can’t simply humiliate their son out of energy on the nationwide stage and suppose you’ll get their help. They may sink and die with him (Oshiomhole). So, in the event you ask me 1,000,000 occasions, I’ll inform you 1,000,000 occasions that the election goes to be 50/50 on each side.
“The battle is between the 2 political events. PDP needs Governor Obaseki to win the governorship election, and APC members are afraid, as a result of they’ve misplaced one massive factor. That’s the reason President Muhammadu Buhari mentioned all APC governors must be able to go to Edo and ship the state for APC. So, it’ll be 50/50.
“In case you take a look at the calculations now, PDP will win. Nonetheless, I nonetheless advise Governor Obaseki to be checking his males and be watching his again, as a result of if he doesn’t, his closest individuals can stab him within the again. Governor Obaseki has introduced life into the PDP in Edo State and that’s inflicting confusion in APC. They’re nonetheless pondering that they might not be capable of recuperate from the shock.”
Ihimekpen, a one-time Director of Communications in the course of the tenure of Chief Fortunate Igbinedion as Edo governor, additionally acknowledged that Obaseki got here to PDP as leverage to save lots of his political profession, as a result of he was nearly going into political oblivion.
He mentioned: “Governor Obaseki would have been retired politically, as a consequence of what occurred in his former occasion (APC), so, when the catastrophe occurred to him in his occasion, he was in search of a spot to go, and PDP was additionally in search of a picture that may additionally assist to elevate the occasion, and so they noticed him as a giant alternative.
“Governor Obaseki needed to cross by means of each thick and skinny to make sure he acquired on board in PDP. Keep in mind that in Edo PDP, there have been individuals who had been there earlier than Governor Obaseki, who by no means wished him, they had been aggrieved and so they did every little thing doable to make sure they annoyed him.
“All politicians are platform seekers. Governor Obaseki didn’t come to PDP as a result of he beloved PDP a lot, whereas the PDP members didn’t need him as a result of he’s the one one. Edo governor wished a political platform to actualise his political dream and PDP additionally wanted him to assist win the state it misplaced a few years in the past. So, it’s a symbolic relationship.”
The PDP chieftain additionally known as for peaceable campaigns and election, so as to transfer Edo state ahead.