As the fight between the Former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole and his Successor, Godwin Obaseki deepens over the State forthcoming governorship election, an APC aspirant, Chris Ogiemwonyi, has weighed in lambasting the incumbent governor.
Ogiemwonyi who opposed the indirect mode of primaries introduced by the APC National Chairman, claimed that Oshiomhole deceived him and other aspirants to favour Obaseki in 2016.
Chris Ogiemwonyi stated this shortly after submitting his expression of interest and nomination forms, he claimed he was forced to pick the form because the consensus with Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu broke down.
“I am a socialist, I am a democrat. I saw what indirect (primary) did to me in 2016. I nurtured so-called delegates for nine months. I was giving soft loans. The shock I had was the delegates telling me, ‘Governor said it was Obaseki.’ Obaseki wasn’t a player in 2016. It was between myself and Odubu. They could not vote for me because of the body language of the then governor (Oshiuomhole).
“Godwin (Obaseki) didn’t campaign, Oshiomhole gave him so much gratitude but he has shown a lot of ingratitude to Oshiomhole. He got that job without sweat. But I believe, with this direct primaries now, people will have their way. Don’t use government apparatus to suppress one person,” he said.
He, however, lambasted Obaseki for allegedly returning Oshiomhole’s gratitude with ingratitude.
On why he pulled out of the arrangement with Ize-Iyamu, he said: “We started with consensus candidate because we believe in unity we can remove the current governor. However, when there were some indications that the consensus candidate or aspirant was inviting another person to join, I had to leave because I was number two in the screening process we did.
“We were seven that took part in that process last week and we were graded. He was the first person, I was number two but when we got the call that the number one person was inviting another person outside the seven aspirants that went for the interview, I told him that was unfair to me.”
Similarly, another aspirant, Matthew Iduoriyekemwe, said he entered the race because the party threw the race open, even though he was supporting Obaseki.
“The governance of Edo is open to every Edo person, if you believe that you have the capacity. Yes it is true that I supported the Obaseki government. As a politician who is not self-serving, I believe that the governor should have the right of first refusal.
“But when the party now made it open that it has to be contested for, as I said, I have contested primary twice in Edo and I have looked at all other aspirants and have not seen any of them that has better capacity than me to deliver to Edo people,” he said.