By Sebastine Ebhuomhan
Months ago, I made something very clear in my write up on this forum. I have since repeated it in the past weeks.
At the risk of being misunderstood at this beginning, let me say I have never really met Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. I have never really supported him.
In fact, I wrote a handbook against him the last time he contested for governorship, from which President Muhammadu Buhari read while campaigning for Governor Obaseki in Benin. So, I can’t be talking from the angle of being his friend or supporter or dependant.
Since 2016, I have had the privilege to further study and psycho-analyse POI to know, as a matter of fact, that he has a high level of maturity both as a man and as a politician. While POI doesn’t say much, he knows how to be careful with words and actions, avoiding bad, harsh and painful language in addressing others.
As a man, POI is highly intelligent, friendlier and accessible than GO. These are possibly some of the reasons he is popular besides his philanthropy that has been attested by his followers.
Looking through his carefully chosen words in his address, you will see all through it the one thing I call maturity: sagacity. He is keen to leave a home behind him as he takes another turn in life, hopefully, to an old home for an uncertain future! So, he would not say anything bad or harsh of his former home to court the love and hospitality of the inhabitants of his new home.
Whether this wisdom, sagacity, hunger and desire fuelling his aspiration can make him the next Governor of Edo State, I don’t know. Whether his shocking decampment from PDP to the APC can help him to eventually realize his long time ambition, I don’t know. I say this, bearing in mind that there are other aspirants in the party that he rejoined.
What you can’t rake away from him is that Ize-Iyamu definitely possesses the maturity and sagacity to steer him through the forthcoming storm in APC, which the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, lacks. Whether his maturity is one of the lessons and experiences he has acquired after trying to be governor and failing repeatedly, I don’t know also.
Of course, Ize-Iyamu still has his baggage, which is the poor record of Lucky Igninedion’s administration, in which he served as the SSG.
What is clear to all and sundry, however, is that Obaseki must begin to make his bed the way he wants to lie on it, after making enemies of all those that helped him in 2016.
While it is not debatable that POI would have defeated GO in 2016 if Comrade Adams Oshiomhole did not smoke him out of APC, it is now incumbent on Obaseki to chart his course and carry his crosd so that he will not be chased out of APC in the end. Make no mistake. GO has offended too many people.
For me, Obaseki is not deserving of a second term and I’ll waste no time to deny him of the ticket if I have the power and privilege.
If he is not careful, henceforth, he will either be chased out of the mainstream APC in Edo State or simply quit on his term, faced with the prospect of a crushing defeat in the primary.
Alternatively, Obaseki will have to organize and win his own primary while leaving the choice of who will fly APC’s flag in Edo 2020 to Oshiomhole to decide.
Yes, for those who hate to hear his name, the Buhari I know will trust Oshiomhole to deliver Edo after the masterstroke of picking POI from the PDP. While Edo State will be delivered for APC whether it is Ize-Iyamu, Obaseki or any other person, the only action left for PDP will be to prepare for a more responsive and responsible opposition role in Edo State.
God bless Africa Media Hangout! God bless Edo State!! God bless Nigeria!!!
EBHUOMHAN is a Nigerian journalist from Edo State. He is based in Abuja.