Governor Nyesom Wike’s experience in the political arena keeps him in good stead to know a bad, unsaleable political product.
If he tells you that a particular politician is a bad product that cannot be sold, you can take that to the bank and keep your money or better still invest it in a better product, that will give you more value for your money
Recently, in a special no-holds-barred interview with Gbenga Aruleba, on the popular African Independent Television, AIT Programme, Focus, Governor Wike gave a critical assessment of the forthcoming Edo State Governorship election, slated for September 19, 2020.
After an analysis, backed with supporting video footages from the campaigns of the last election in the state, he declared with unequivocal clarity, that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the Edo State Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC is a bad product and you cannot sell a bad product to good and discerning people of Edo State.
Governor Wike is the Chairman of the PDP Edo State Governorship Campaign Council and this, on its own is a strategic and political masterstroke decision of the PDP for all the right reasons. It is indeed not a position meant for the faint hearted or lily livered, especially at this time in our present political space, for two reasons:
First, Edo State is the only State in the South- South that the APC has dominated over the last two Governorship elections spanning 12 years.Though, the State is now technically under PDP control, following the decamping of Governor Godwin Obaseki to the Party, the fact remains that PDP would dearly want to reclaim the State again after Professor Oseheimen Osunbor was sacked as Governor by the Courts in 2008.
There is no better man, more capable and possessing the charismatic political savvy and astute electoral stratagem to reclaim Edo State for PDP than Governor Wike.
Secondly, the APC, perhaps unwittingly recognizing the importance of Edo State in the political nomenclature of the South-South, picked Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, a politician who has not only become well known nationally for his metaphoric ‘babanriga pockets’ but also commands tremendous political influence and authority over both the massive Kano electorate and in the entire North, to head its Governorship Campaign Council.
The PDP therefore needed a strong leader, who has a towering political presence and popularity; who cannot be easily intimidated and is also well loved across the South-South and especially in Edo State.
Governor Wike fitted this position perfectly and indeed many Edo indigenes will recall happily, that the Rivers Governor is only one amongst a select group of Governors that the revered Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolopolo, Oba Ewuare II, Oba of Benin, has graced with his royal presence in Government House Port Harcourt, on January 14 this year.
Governor Wike adores the Oba of Benin with great reverence and respects the Bini tradition and the majestic Benin Monarch also definitely holds the Rivers Governor in very high esteem too; a point he made clearly, when Governor Wike led the Edo PDP Campaign Council to pay homage to the Oba in his place, seek his permission to campaign in his kingdom and receive his royal blessings before commencing the Governorship Campaign flag-off.
The choice of Governor Wike to head the Edo PDP Governorship Campaign Council was therefore never really in doubt. While many will say that he was simply campaigning for his Party, the fact remains that his profiling of Pastor Osagie Ize-iyamu, the Edo APC governorship candidate, as a bad product that cannot be sold to Edo people, is right on point and supported with copious instances captured in video footages, delivered by none other than former APC national chairman and Ize-Iyamu’s political godfather, Adams Oshiomhole, which he referred to in butressing his point.
Quoting the comments of Adams Oshiomhole exclusively, on the personality and reputation of the APC candidate, Governor Wike said: “Adams Oshiomhole told Edo people that Ize Iyamu was rusticated from school; that he poured acid on a fellow student that destroyed his manhood. That he is an armed robber that cannot be trusted with money. Such a character cannot be accepted by Edo people as Governor during the election.
“I respect the Binin 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 Oshiomhole’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 that 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, “ the Governor Wike said.
According to Governor Wike, the description of Pastor Ize-Iyamu as a bad product that cannot be sold to Edo people, by the former APC national Chairman has already boosted the PDP and Governor Godwin Obaseki’s campaign immensely. It makes it easy for the Governor to now concentrate his campaign on issues of governance and his numerous achievements in the last four years. Sadly, Pastor Ize-Iyamu has nothing to offer Edo people, except the emoty promises, which even Oshiomhole has dismissed by telling the world that Ize Iyamu lies too much.
The only hope the APC is relying on now, according to Governor Wike, is to rig the Edo State Governorship elections, because it knows that the people of the State will not buy the bad product Oshiomhole is presenting as the Party’s candidate in the September 19 Governorship elections.
This has prompted the Rivers Governor to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, to leave a lasting democratic legacy behind, by ensuring that the Edo State guber election is free and fair and devoid of the intimidation and threatened subversion of the electoral laws, which some APC members are planning to unleash on Edo people on election day.
The Rivers State Governor in the special AIT interview, also praised the recents efforts of the PDP in resolving internal party conflicts and saluted the courage and magnanimity of the other aspirants in the Edo guber primaries, who decided to work together to support the candidature of Governor Obaseki who is the Party’s flag bearer.
“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. But Party members who are grounded and believe in the Party didn’t see any sacrifice too much to make”.
He noted the success recorded by the PDP in conducting free and fair Party primaries in Edo state and Ondo states, adding that he and his team accepted the responsibility to lead the campaign in Edo because they are satisfied with results coming out already from Edo State.
He commended the Delta State Governor and South South Governors Forum Chairman, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa for his impressive efforts in strengthening the nation’s democracy with the promotion of internal politics and resolving conflict of interests of members to achieve common goals.
“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 the PDP,” he stated.
Indeed, only very few people will disagree with the Edo State PDP Governorship
Campaign Council Chairman on his comprehensive political analysis and especially on the electoral truism that you cannot sell a bad product, no matter how many times you kneel down to begs the people.
From all indications, it is obvious that Edo people are already in agreement with Governor Wike on this matter.
Nsirim is the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Rivers State
FG Tackles UK Parliament Over Attack On Gowon
The Federal Government has berated a UK parliamentarian, Tom Tugendhat, for accusing a former Nigerian leader, retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, of stealing during a debate on the #EndSARS protest in the House of Commons.
The government also rebuked the UK parliament for acting in an uninformed manner in recommending sanctions for Nigeria over the hoax massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate during the protest.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a meeting with online publishers in Lagos yesterday said the knee jerk reaction of the House of Commons was informed by fake news and disinformation.
He lambasted the chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee of the British House of Commons Tugendhat, for being “ignorant’’ and “flippant’’ in his accusation against Gowon.
“It is most disheartening that parliamentarians in a country with a history of upholding the finest ideals of democracy will act in such an uninformed manner on an issue such as EndSARS.
“The quality of the debate at the British Parliament on EndSARS was under par.
“Fake accusations based on fake news and disinformation were levelled against the Federal Government by poorly-informed participants at the debate.
“One MP even accused former Nigerian leader, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), who served this country to the best of his ability, of stealing half of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“Sheer Ignorance! The flippant MP, who unfortunately chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British House of Commons, did a great disservice to himself, the committee he chairs and the entire parliament by allowing himself to be misled by fake news exponents.
“Fittingly, the British Government has distanced itself from him,’’ he said.
Tugendhat, a Conservative Parliamentarian for Tombridge, Edenbridge and Malling had during the debate which led to the recommendation of sanctions against Nigeria, accused Gowon of stealing and money laundering.
“Now some people will remember when Gen. Gowon left Nigeria with half of the Central Bank, so it was said, and moved to London,’’ the MP had said.
Mohammed stressed that the twin evils of fake news and disinformation aggravated the recent #EndSARS protest and the aftermath.
He said the reactions of some countries were informed by fake news and disinformation, and varying figures of those purportedly killed in the hoax massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate.
“For example, parliamentarians in Britain put the figure of those killed at 10, CNN first reported 38 and then lowered the number to 1.
“And DJ Switch’s numbers cascaded from 78 dead to 15 to 7!
“Even an international broadcaster like CNN was misled by fake news and disinformation.
“But CNN has itself to blame for relying on unauthenticated videos which it took from social media
“Now, CNN is seeking to save face by trying to clarify its report, which was not only inaccurate but failed the simple test of balance and fairness,’’ he said.
The minister recalled that the government had petitioned CNN, asking it to use its own internal mechanism to probe its so-called investigative report on the Lekki Toll Gate incident.
Senate Confirms Yakubu As INEC Chairman
The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission for the second term of five years.
Recall that the Senate had received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari to confirm the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, for a second and final term in office.
Following the request, the Senate Committee on INEC, led by Senator Kabiru Gaya, made the confirmation at the plenary yesterday.
Senators who spoke before his confirmation also described him as highly qualified for the job.
Meanwhile the Senate has advised that President Muhammadu Buhari to replace the service chiefs following the killing of 43 farmers.
The senate President, Ahmed Lawan told Buhari to immediately restructure the country’s security architecture in order to fight against insurgents and secure lives of citizens.
“I urge the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria to immediately initiate the transitionary process of phasing out the current over-stayed security chiefs and replacing them with new ones with new ideas and solutions;
“I urge the President to take immediate steps to restructure, remodel and revamp the country’s entire security architecture and provide enough state-of-the-art weapons and equipment to effectively combat the belligerent power of the insurgents.”
The Senate President also advised the President to immediately set up a probe panel into widespread allegations of corruption and leakages within the security structure and put mechanisms in place to foster transparency.
“The President should ensure all resources meant and deployed for security are actually spent on the needs on ground; Impress on the Federal Government to aggressively explore multilateral and bilateral options of partnership with the neighboring nations of Chad, Niger and Cameroon towards reviving and strengthening the Multinational Joint Task Force.
“Finally, as a way of proffering long term solution to Nigeria’s existential security challenges, the Federal and States Government must adequately address all immediate and remote causes of insecurity in the nation,” Lawan added.
Lagos By-Elections: INEC Delivers Non-Sensitive Materials To LGAs
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State, says that it has delivered non-sensitive materials for the Saturday’s Lagos East Senatorial and Kosofe Constituency II House of Assembly by-elections to all the five affected councils in the area.
INEC spokesman, Femi Akinbiyi, told newsmen yesterday in Lagos that the commission would soon receive the sensitive materials for the elections.
Akinbiyi said that the receipt of the materials would be in the full glare of the political parties’ representatives, election observers and the media.
“The non-sensitive materials have been delivered to various local governments already, and they have been batched into various registration areas (Wards).
“We are not leaving any stone unturned in our preparations to conduct free, fair, credible and acceptable by-elections on Saturday in Lagos East Senatorial District and Kosofe State Constituency II,” INEC PRO said.
Akinbiyi said that the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Sam Olumekun, has advised the people to come out en mass to exercise their franchise on Saturday in a peaceful and orderly manner.
He said that the commission was poised about conducting elections that everyone including all participating political parties would be proud of.
He said that INEC in collaboration with security agencies had made adequate arrangements for smooth and safe conduct of the election.
The Tide source reports that the five local government areas that make up the Lagos East Senatorial District are Somolu, Kosofe, Ikorodu, Epe and Ibeju-Lekki.
Candidates from 12 political parties will be contesting in the Lagos East Senatorial by-elections while eight candidates will be contesting the Kosofe Constituency II, Lagos State House of Assembly by-elections.
The contestants for the senatorial election are: Muyiwa Adebanjo, Action Alliance (AA); Ms Mercy Adeoye, African Action Congress (AAC) and John Kome, African Democratic Congress (ADC).
Others are: Adebowale Ogunlaru, Action Democratic Party (ADP); Adetokunbo Abiru, All Progressives Congress (APC); Olusola Babatope, Allied Peoples Movement (APM); Mrs Florence Trautman, Labour Party (LP) and Ms Adijat Lawal, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
The rest are: Babatunde Gbadamosi, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Akin Olukunle, National Rescue Movement (NRM); Saheed Aluko, Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Taiwo Temitope, Young Progressive Party (YPP).
The eight contestants for the Kosofe Constituency II bye-election are: John Akerele, AA; Sadiq Olawale, AAC; Wasiu Saheed, APC; Adekunle Oladapo, LP; Muyideen Agoro, NNPP; Ademorin Adelaja, NRM; Sikiru Alebiosu, PDP and Mrs Mary Abojeh, ADC.
The two by-elections, slated for December 5, became necessary following the demise of the former occupants who were members of APC.
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