Politics

All the negative things Oshiomhole said to me in the past did not come from his heart – Pastor Ize-Iyamu

Pastor Ize Iyamu

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has stated that the sacked National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, who had in the past called him lots of unprintable names did not mean what he said.

Ize-Iyamu stated this during an interview with Peter David (as published on Punch).

Peter asked: Sometime in the past, the suspended National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, called you a lot of unprintable names and said you were incapable of governing the state, how will you cope with such a man now as your godfather?

Pastor Ize-Iyamu answered; What do you mean by godfather? However, are we selecting what we should remember? What about the periods he paid glowing compliments to me? What about the period he praised me for all I did to support him to be in government. He made those statements during the period I was on the other side and was contesting to be the state governor and he (Oshiomhole) was determined to prevent that. What do you expect? Were you expecting him to praise me at that time when he did not want me to be governor?

So, when you look at the context in which he said those things, you will understand that he was just playing politics and he needed to de-market me so that his candidate would have an advantage. And after the election, that was the end of it.

So, I do not think that we should dwell too much on what he said before the election. If you are saying that, we can also take you back to what he said about me before then. People are saying look at the bad things he said during the campaign. Why did they not look at the good things he said before the campaign?

The truth is that he was only trying to de-market me so that Edo people would not vote for me, not that it was from his heart. Of course, the man (Oshiomhole) can speak for himself; he is not dead. We are all pretending not to know that in politics, you can say all kinds of things just to de-market your opponent.

He also noted that Oshiomhole is not his godfather, saying that God is his only godfather in politics.

Will it be right to say the former governor will be your godfather?

No. When you use that word, you miss it completely. Why will he be my godfather? First, am I a political novice? I am not someone that needs to be sold because I am not new to this game. I have told people that the only godfather I have is God.

By the grace of God, I was the national vice chairman of the (defunct) Action Congress of Nigeria. I was director-general of the Adams Oshiomhole campaign committee for a second term. I was a member of the merger committee that created the APC.

So, will it not be strange that someone with these credentials will have someone else as his godfather? If you are talking about godfather and godson, you should be talking about somebody new in the game, who needs someone else to nurture him. In this situation, you know that I have paid my dues and the only godfather I have is God.

But Adams Oshiomhole is a national leader of the party and nobody can wish him away. Of course, it will be nice of him to tell people to vote for me because in many parts of Edo, he did well and many people are indebted to him, but that does not in any way mean that he will be my godfather.

How would you react to statements made by some people that it was not morally right for you to have gone to the party that called you all sorts of names?

The APC is a national party. I have more rights than any other person because this is a party I helped to found. Are you saying that because of some people in the party, I should not come to a house I founded? That will be ridiculous. If you own a house and somebody abused you in that house, are you saying you should not go back to it? It is a silly logic that does not make sense. So, you should be telling me if it is not morally right for me to go back home.

Many people in the state still like the Peoples Democratic Party as the last presidential and National Assembly elections showed. How do you hope to win the election?

You forget that those who made such things happen at that time are now in the APC. I coordinated the campaign of the PDP that you are referring to. I was the DG of the state campaign committee and my job was to ensure that we won in the state. You also know that when I was returning to the APC, I did not go alone. I took formidable leaders from the 18 local government areas along. You should know that my coming back has changed the equation completely.

In any case, it was this present state government that weakened the APC because they alienated the leadership, which made the party to become weak. When the APC had a governor who was busy dealing with shepherds across the various LGAs, it was easy for the party to be in disarray and we capitalised on that. But we are coming back and we are going to offer a very strong leadership based on consultation and respect for party structure. Under that scenario, I can tell you that you are going to see overwhelming support and commitment from the party members. We are going to win in all the 18 LGAs of the state.

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