By Isaac Olamikan, Senior Correspondent, Benin
As the gubernatorial election in Edo State draws nearer, the Labour Party has said the sacked National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comr. Adams Oshiomhole, does not have the political power or influence to determine who will be elected as governor of the state in the forthcoming poll.
In a statement, the party noted that Oshiomhole and his candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, cannot win any free and fair election in the state, adding that the September governorship poll will be between the majority of Edo electorate, who are ready to vote for Governor Godwin Obaseki, and Oshiomhole, who is desperate in his selfish pursuit to enthrone himself as a godfather in the state.
The statement was jointly signed by the state party chairman, Comrade Oghalol K.S.E; National Secretary, Barrister Abure Julius and the party’s governorship candidate, Dr. Isaiah Osifo, Ph.D, JP.
According to the party, “Adams Oshiomhole has no political power or influence to decide who should be elected as the governor of Edo State. He cannot win any free and fair election in Edo State. As a sitting governor of Edo State in 2015, he could not deliver Edo State to President Muhammadu Buhari. As the National Chairman of APC in 2019, he could not deliver Edo State to President Buhari.”
The party further alleged plots by Oshiomhole and his cronies to resort to violence in order to undermine the will of the people during the elections, adding: “He is only relying on whether the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and President Muhammadu Buhari will agree to declare war in Edo State in order to rig the election in favour of his disabled APC gubernatorial candidate, Ize-Iyamu.
“The Labour Party, all progressive forces in Nigeria and the good people of Edo State will continue to call on INEC and President Buhari to steer clear of the desperation of Oshiomhole to declare war on Edo people because of his personal interest. INEC and President Buhari should apply the apparatus of the state for a peaceful, free and fair governorship election in Edo State.”
Noting that the sacked National Chair and his already disabled candidate, Ize-Iyamu, will be rejected and disgraced by voters at the September 19 guber poll, the Labour Party said: “Oshiomhole in 2016 was vocal in his condemnation of Ize-Iyamu and elaborated his antecedents that border on several criminal conducts. He told Edo people not to get close to Ize-Iyamu, insisting that his election as the governor of Edo State will be dangerous to the collective interest of the people of Edo State.
The statement continued: “In 2020, Adams Oshiomhole is singing a different song, telling Edo electorate that nobody should take his words serious, and the same person is asking Edo electorate to elect Ize-Iyamu that is undergoing criminal prosecutions by the APC government over money laundering.
“Edo people should ignore his lies, reject his disabled APC candidate and be vigilant to defend our democracy and the noble culture of Edo people.”