Whoever APC fields will defeat PDP in Edo, says Idahosa
As the clock ticks towards the governorship election in Edo state, the two dominant political parties; the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are engaged in verbal war on which of them would carry that day even as they try to cross the hurdle to pick credible candidates from among their aspirants.
But within the APC, Special Adviser to Governor Adams Oshiomhole on Political Matters, Charles Idahosa said anybody the party presented would defeat the PDP.
In an interview with The Guardian, Idahosa who spoke on various issues affecting the politics of the state, said despite fears being expressed in some quarters, the APC would conduct credible, free and fair primaries to pick its candidate.
He said, “We are going to conduct free and fair primaries, our strategy is to canvass for votes from the delegates and that is what the governor will do not to impose any body. People are already crying wolf because they know they cannot win, so they want to create this impression so that if they lose they will say the governor rigged the primaries.
“Nobody is going to rig the primaries, we are going to have a free and fair primaries. But I hope they should accept defeat after the primaries and work for the party because I accepted defeat after Oshiomhole defeated me in the general election and today I am his Political Adviser. That is true loyalty. Let me tell you, a lot of people are deceiving themselves, whoever the APC picks will beat the candidate of PDP hands down.
“People are using the National Assembly election to say it may be different. Edo people are not mad; they know what Oshiomhole has done for them. I play my politics in the rural area. What people ask is where is Oshiomhole’s party before they vote.”
On the allegation that the governor plans to doctor the delegates’ list, Idahosa denied the allegation saying when the legacy parties merged to form the APC, there were some leadership positions in the wards and local governments ceded to some leaders who have since defected to the PDP with such members who are delegates, do we now allow PDP members to become delegates in APC election?
“Some are dead, some have moved to PDP, some traveled. So these are the areas we are looking at and we told the National leadership to check and make the necessary amendments.”
He said there was nothing wrong in Oshiomhole backing one of the aspirants, as he strongly believed that a leader must have his preference for who succeeds him after his exit.
According to him, “There is no way a governor of a state will not have an interest about who succeeds him. Particularly when you talk about Edo state that was dead when Oshiomhole came in.”
Idahosa said he was privy to the reason for Oshiomhole backing Godwin Obaseki as his successor stressing, “So if Oshiomhole comes out now to say I have worked with all these people and it is Obaseki I feel should take over from me, I don’t see why the hue and cry. I was one of the few people Oshiomhole gave reason why he feels it should be Obaseki and in fact I was happy the governor was only thinking of Edo state not his personal self. If he was thinking of himself I don’t think Obaseki will be the one.”
Idahosa debunked rumours that the Benins would not want Obaseki as governor because of alleged betrayal of the Benin monarchy by his great grand father. He posited that if the Obasekis were enemies of the palace as being insinuated, the Benin Monarch, Oba Erediauwa would not have made the name an hereditary title and made not less than four persons from that family as palace chiefs.
“Godwin Obaseki’s father was not even born when this matter happened. None of the people saying it now witnessed what happened. Let me tell you, Agho Obaseki was the man they accused. It was the Oba that nominated Agho Obaseki as representative of the Benins to the Europeans. He was the one negotiating between the Europeans and us. When Oba Ovonramwen died in Calabar, it was the same Agho Obaseki that advised that the son of the Oba should be crowned and Oba Eweka became king.
“The grandson of Agho Obaseki became the Iyase of Benin, the number one chieftaincy title. The Agho Obaseki they are calling a traitor was Iyase of Benin and Omo N’Oba Erediauwa has now turned Obaseki title to a hereditary title. So how does that show that the palace hates the Obasekis? You see because of political reasons, some lazy politicians wants to re-write history. Can the Oba make his enemies Chiefs in his palace? This is just a weak way of running somebody down.”
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