By Bisi Olaniyi,
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, on Saturday challenged Governor Godwin Obaseki to tell the public the whereabouts of his commissioner who remains in detention overseas, following his arrest last year in France for alleged money laundering.
Ize-Iyamu also described as irresponsible Obaseki‘s decision to erect a digital billboard in the centre of Benin to continuously play the video of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano with a view to portraying him in bad light.
The Director of Communication and Media of the Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation, Prince John Mayaki, said in a statement that it was hypocritical for Obaseki to embark on cheap blackmail when he could not account for his arrested and detained commissioner.
He said: “It is obvious to everyone in Edo State and beyond now that the outgoing governor of Edo State (Obaseki) and his party of tax collectors have no record or achievements to campaign with.
“Otherwise, instead of wasting public fund on a lazy, indecorous and irresponsible attempt to smear the reputation of Kano governor, they would have seized the fraudulently-obtained opportunity of a digital billboard at the heart of the state’s capital to show the people of Edo State consequential matters like their achievements in office.
“It is nothing but hypocrisy and a lack of awareness, two traits that contributed to the failure of the Obaseki’s administration, for the governor to sanction such an irresponsible move when his own commissioner/best friend is still languishing in detention abroad, since his arrest in France.”
In a separate statement, Ize-Iyamu berated the Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate, Dr. Isaiah Osifo, accusing him of acting as Obaseki’s mouthpiece but planted in LP to regurgitate scripts handed to him by his paymaster.
He condemned Osifo’s last Thursday’s “show of shame” during a news conference in Benin, accusing him (Osifo) of engaging in smear campaign and deliberate spread of misinformation.
Reacting through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, however, Obaseki said Ize-Iyamu would be roundly defeated in the September 19 election.
Osagie said: “Governor Obaseki has an unwavering faith in his works and the growing support of millions of Edo people, who are the actual voters that will re-elect him for another term in office.
“Edo people have come to the full understanding of Governor Obaseki’s brand of politics, which is about the greatest good possible for the greater number of people, as against Ize-Iyamu’s retrogressive politics of converting public wealth to his personal property.
“Edo State under Governor Obaseki has since shaken off the last vestiges of bad governance which Ize-Iyamu is notorious for, and our people are determined, more than ever, to sustain the progress we have so far witnessed with their votes.
“With Obaseki, trust, accountability to the people, integrity, our common dignity are the driving forces. These qualities have been demonstrated over and over again in the last three years and seven months, and a renewed four-year mandate from Edo people will turbo-charge us to deliver more dividends of democracy.