By Bisi Olaniyi, Southsouth Bureau Chief
A chieftain of the Individuals’s Democratic Celebration (PDP) in Edo State, Okharedia Ihimekpen, has cautioned leaders and members of his social gathering 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, if you happen to do; it’s at your peril. So, if you happen to say ‘I’m a governor, nothing is occurring,’ you sit down and swim in pleasure, considering that you’ve arrived; you’ll solely be deceiving your self. If you don’t shut mark Pastor Ize-Iyamu, you can be shocked.
“Take a look at the person who Pastor Ize-Iyamu picked as his operating 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 mix 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 individuals of Edo North Senatorial District for his or her son (Oshiomhole) is a hazard that the PDP members should take care of.
“PDP members in Edo State can survive on September 19, if they begin planning now. It could 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’ve received.”
Ihimekpen, who was among the many six folks that held the primary assembly of the PDP in 1998, identified that despite 14 political events taking part within the September 19 governorship election in Edo state, it might be a battle between Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu.
He mentioned: “Profitable the September 19 election is a 50/50 probability for Governor Obaseki, as a result of the catastrophe that occurred to Comrade Oshiomhole currently has introduced all of the individuals of Edo North Senatorial District collectively to be in sympathy with him. You can not simply humiliate their son out of energy on the nationwide stage and assume you’re going to get their help. They’ll sink and die with him (Oshiomhole). So, if you happen to ask me 1,000,000 occasions, I’ll inform you 1,000,000 occasions that the election goes to be 50/50 on either 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 huge 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.
“If you happen to have a look at the calculations now, PDP will win. Nevertheless, 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 considering that they might not have the ability to get well from the shock.”
Ihimekpen, a one-time Director of Communications in the course of the tenure of Chief Fortunate Igbinedion as Edo governor, additionally said 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, on account of what occurred in his former social gathering (APC), so, when the catastrophe occurred to him in his social gathering, 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 social gathering, and so they noticed him as an enormous alternative.
“Governor Obaseki needed to move by 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 needed him, they had been aggrieved and so they did every little thing attainable to make sure they pissed off him.
“All politicians are platform seekers. Governor Obaseki didn’t come to PDP as a result of he liked PDP a lot, whereas the PDP members didn’t need him as a result of he’s the one one. Edo governor needed 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 referred to as for peaceable campaigns and election, as a way to transfer Edo state ahead.