We Know Those Blowing Up Pipelines To Cripple Economy – Idahosa | Independent Newspapers Limited
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We Know Those Blowing Up Pipelines To Cripple Economy – Idahosa

Posted: Jul 11, 2016 at 4:00 am   /   by   /   comments (2)

Hon. Charles Idahosa, Special Adviser to Governor Adams Oshiomhole on Political Matters in this interview with FRANCIS ONOIRIBHOLO in Benin, speaks on the chances of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its flagbearer, Godwin  Obaseki in the September 10 governorship election in Edo state. Excerpts:

Is it true that the key to your party’s election planning strategies are with Chief Tom Ikimi and Ize Iyamu and that you are now afraid that they are going to use it against you in this coming election?
I do not know what you mean by election planning secret. Is it possible for the two people just mentioned to have election strategy or secret, let me just use your word. First and foremost, I am older than these two people you just mentioned, I am senior to Osagie Ize Iyamu in age and I find it very difficult to talk about him because he is my younger brother, we are very close; but the way Tom Ikimi is going now, my ideas initially was to watch and make my own contribution quite well but when you now target the party because you want to rubbish the party, some of us who are the founders will not keep quiet.

I have a relationship with Osagie Ize Iyamu; like I said he is my brother, I am older than him in age and I am older than him in politics. Tom Ikimi is older than me in age but I am older than Tom Ikimi in politics.  Ikimi came into politics when Babangida and Aikhomu shared the two political parties and Aikhomu was asked to be a National Chairman when they created the two political parties. Aikhomu was asked to bring a national chairman, Admiral Aikhomu who was Vice President then and Tom Ikimi was Aikhomu’s boy and his contractor. From there, he became National Chairman of NRC. That is how he came into politics. I started politics from my ward in 1980 under Ambrose Alli. I want you to think of when Aikhomu and Babangida came, so I am older than him in politics.

So to the issue of their knowing every secret, we will meet on September 10. I have contested elections in this state, under local government, I have won some, I have lost some. Ikimi has never contested any elections; Osagie Ize-Iyamu is going to contest election for the first time, so he will know what it is supporting somebody and contesting election. I wanted Iduoriyekemwen to flag off his election first .As we speak today, we have two people to deal with in the PDP until the court decides. Port Harcourt says it is Makarfi, Lagos and Abuja say it is Sheriff and they are all courts of coordinate jurisdiction. So, we are waiting for a higher court, maybe they will end up in the Supreme court but in the meantime, we have been waiting patiently to see what they will take so when they now say they know the secret I do not understand what they meant by secret.

What is your take on the recent PDP rally?

The truth of the matter is I watched the rally. I have always wanted to remain calm with what has been happening because I have gone through it all before. I tried to be a senator;  as I speak, my N1million is still with  the PDP, but they gave the ticket to Daisy Danjuma. I wanted to be governor.  I contested the primary with Oshiomhole, but later the ticket was given to him. And I have been his adviser since then. So, you can imagine how I felt when Chief  Ikimi opened his mouth to say Osagie Ize-Iyamu brought Oshiomhole to him. He claimed he did  not know Oshiomhole.  How can you say you gave Oshiomhole ticket and you didn’t know him, a man that was the President of the NLC  and you said you were a Foreign Minister? .I want to put it on record that the primary election  between myself and Oshiomhole was very comprehensive and Oshiomhole deserved the victory. Oshiomhole’s emergence was not an automatic declaration from Ikimi. So he never gave Oshiomhole governorship. I also heard him say that the current secretariat of the APC was provided by Osagie Ize-Iyamu, that is also not true. I ran that APC secretariat for two years, paying the salaries of workers, furnished the place. We rented that place and the owner  said we should deposit N20million since it is a political party. But we said we didn’t have such money. Then the son of the owner, who is my friend, said we could  use an individual’s name to acquire it. Another thing he said was that himself and Ize-Iyamu formed APC. I was the first person from Edo to be drafted  into the national body of the party to work with Ikimi when we were forming  APC. While we were forming the party, Ize-Iyamu was Secretary to  Edo State Government  and he and others  were in the PDP fighting Chief Anenih. So, how did he now form APC?  Is he saying  Ize-Iyamu was in PDP in the day time and ACD, as we were called then, at night? On May 29, 2007, when INEC declared that Oshiomhole lost the election before we went to court, when Lucky Igbinedion was handing over to Prof.Osunbor, Ize-Iyamu was standing beside him as Secretary to Government. He was SSG till 2007; so, at what point was he the leader  of an opposition party that came to power later? They were equally talking about Airport Road, that Oshiomhole has not done anything. Where the PDP is making a big mistake is this their talk always that Oshiomhole has not done anything. I have told some of their leaders who are my friends that they should change their tactics because they will be fooling themselves if they continue to say Oshiomhole has not done anything when people have seen that  Edo has changed. They should be saying they will build flyover since Oshiomhole has built roads rather than saying he has not done anything. They are making a  mockery of themselves. When Ikimi defected to the PDP after he did not get the chairmanship of APC, he said that he cooked the food and Oshiomhole removed the pot and the food. I wonder why he is always talking about food and cooking. He repeated it  at their rally. We decided to keep  calm since because he has no electoral value; so we are not worried about him at all. The other day Ikimi referred to Oshiomhole as a Kukuruku boy, trying to use derogatory comments against the governor. I am giving him seven days to apologize to Oshiomhole or else we will take action against him

There is this insinuation that some of you may find it difficult to work against Ize-Iyamu as the PDP candidate due to his close relationship with some of you?

I find it difficult to attack him because he is my younger brother. But he should not  run his mouth anyhow  because, if he does, then I will have no option since we are not in the same party. My party, the APC, has a very good candidate in the person of Godwin Obaseki who is equally my brother. Obaseki happens to be an old boy of my school, Eghosa Anglican Grammar School. Edo College has produced governor before; we want Eghosa Anglican Grammar School too, to produce governor.
Almost everybody in the race is close to me because I am old in this game. But another issue  is that we don’t even know who Obaseki is going to face, whether it is Ize-Iyamu or Matthew Iduoriyekemwen. They have two candidates in the PDP; so we are confused as to whom our candidate will meet. But we are watching and whoever eventually meets us will certainly be crushed.

But why is it also difficult for your party to pick a running mate for Obaseki?

Party leaders have been meeting and working hard on that. The issue will be resolved in the next few days. I heard that some people are saying this will cause crisis in APC, that was the same thing they said before the primary. But you can see that there was no crisis after the primary. So this one will also be resolved. Some of us have made our input on the matter and we believe that, at the end of the day, it will be resolved.

Is emergence of Ize-Iyamu a threat to APC?

His emergence is not a threat to APC. The issue is that he is both a politician and a pastor. When pastors mount  the pulpit  to preach to you, you will donate your last kobo to the church. So they have this gift of the garb, they can convince you to even bring all your belongings to the church. He is good in making powerful speeches as  a politician of so many years standing, so he has that capacity to  convince his followers that he will win even when he knows that he will crash. If you watched  the event when they kicked off  their campaign at the Baptist ground, Chief Anenih did not talk, Esama did not speak also. You could see confusion  on the faces of those who were there because they didn’t  know who will be their candidate eventually. But Ize-Iyamu is a smart politician, we are aware he is making moves to join another party if he ended up not becoming the authentic candidate of the PDP. We have heard stories about some of our members who may want to work with him and jeopardise our chances, but, let me tell you, registered party members are not up to five per cent of voters. 90 per cent of those who will vote that day are not party members, they will vote for APC government that has done so well for them. It is only we here in the urban areas that know  Ize-Iyamu, most people who are in the rural areas know  Oshiomhole and his candidate  is the one they will vote for. PDP is dead here right now.

Nigerians are crying that the APC-led Federal Government is not doing enough to boost the economy. Don’t you think that may affect the APC in the election?

PDP was in government for  16 years and you expect a man who just came to power one year ago to perform magic overnight? Did Buhari tell us that he is a magician? One year is too early to judge him. Were militants blowing up pipelines when Jonathan was there? We know those doing it to cripple the economy and rubbish the government. Let me tell you, during this campaign, Oshiomhole will lead the campaign of Godwin Obaseki. Ize-Iyamu’s credentials are  tied around Lucky Igbinedion. When Ize-Iyamu left university, he became the PA to Lucky Igbinedion, he became his Chief of Staff and then SSG. The question now is, will Lucky Igbinedion campaign with Ize-Iyamu now? When you mention Obaseki, you will tie him with Oshiomhole, but when you mention Ize-Iyamu, you tie him with Igbinedion because Ize-Iyamu is nothing without Lucky Igbinedion. Ize-Iyamu has not worked outside the Igbinedions. But Obaseki is a stock broker, a banker and financial expert. Now, he came to assist Oshiomhole and, for seven years, he has worked without collecting salary. Obaseki is proud that Oshiomhole will lead his campaign. When the campaigns starts, we will know who will lead Ize-Iyamu’s campaign. It is even an insult that the name of a former governor was not in the campaign train of Ize-Iyamu. Has he abandoned Lucky? So in this campaign, Oshiomhole is a good man, he is loved by many, it will be very easy to beat any PDP candidate because he will lead our campaign.

Comments (2)

  • Jul 11, 2016 at 6:34 pm burning spear

    In about 1year, Nigeria that use to be the largest economy in Africa and number one investment destination in Africa is now number 13. Inflation rate that was below 9% when GEJ handed over on May 29th, 2015 is now at 15.6% under Buhari in 1year (double digit inflation rate). Our GDP was at 6.95 under GEJ, now it is -0.36% worst in Nigeria’s history. This is a recession GDP. President Buhari has ruined the economy completely in just 1year. In 2013/14, Nigeria was the 3rd fastest growing economy in the world, now we are 29th in the world. With the country’s current negative GDP of -0.36, Nigeria might be outside Top 50 in the world. It is important to note that there are only 4 countries with negative GDP in Africa in the last quarter and Nigeria is now one of them. The analogy that president Buhari met an empty treasury when he took over is false because GEJ handed over $30billion in Foreign Reserves, $5billion from accrued Liquefied Natural gas Dividends, $3billion from Excess Crude Account and around $2.4billion from Sovereign Wealth Fund. Buhari was handed over a budget of about N4.5trillion passed by GEJ few weeks before handover. Around N5.3trillion was received as income in 2015, how was this money squandered? With landing rate of Crude Oil to Nigeria now at N89 per litre with the drop in price of crude oil, the Federal Government still increased fuel price to N145 per litre and there is no evidence of increased income generation. The government is making a N56 profit. So why is Nigeria broke? Why cant states get more money from federation account? Why cant states pay salaries?

  • Jul 11, 2016 at 3:01 pm TaiwoEghaghe

    Cherished to read; a truth delight…PDP was a renounced curse that can ‘never’ return to Edo state (The Heart-Beat of the Nation)!

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