By Ebi Perekeme
Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, says Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has “no opponent” in the forthcoming Edo governorship election.
In a statement by Paul Nsirim, commissioner for information and communications, Wike said the sudden U-turn of Adams Oshiomhole, former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, on the personality of Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the APC, is an insult to the people of Edo.
He said the people already know the type of candidate the APC has presented going by what Oshiomhole said about him four years ago.
In 2016 when Oshiomhole was campaigning for Obaseki, who was the APC candidate then, he denounced Ize-Iyamu as someone who cannot be trusted with public funds.
Wike said he knows that the people of Edo will not allow Oshiomhole play on their intelligence.
“Such a character cannot be accepted by Edo people as governor during the election,” Wike said.
“I respect the Benin 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.
“Adams Oshiomole’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 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.”
Wike, who is the chairman of the PDP campaign council in the state, said it was not an easy task electing Obaseki as the governorship candidate of the party because he decamped from the APC.
He said people thought this would pose a problem in the party but they were able to resolve internal conflicts as party members who believe in the PDP were willing to make sacrifices.
“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,” he said.
“But party members who are grounded and believe in the party didn’t see any sacrifice too much to make.
“Even in Ondo state, the former deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi who decamped to PDP contested keenly during the primaries and lost. If there are other pending issues in the south west, be sure that the party will resolve them.
“That is exactly what Delta state Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as the chairman of south-south states’ governors had done.
“He is making sure that we are all on the same page to ensure that all states in the south-south are controlled by PDP”.