The Benin Progressive Front has said the Edo State Governor-elect, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has no rift to settle with the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in the September 28 gubernatorial election.
The socio-cultural group in a statement signed by Mr. Osato Imadiyi while reacting to a media report by a Bini-born billionaire, Captain Hosa Okunbor, calling on Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu to close ranks in the interest of the Binis said: “Okunbor should channel his energies at prevailing on Ize-Iyamu to withdraw from election petition tribunal because Obaseki has no personal rift to settle with him, except electoral matters.”
Okunbor said: “Both candidates belong to me. Ize-Iyamu is my very good friend, Obaseki is my family, so both of them are my own. But I will not want to speak much about the election because as you know, I am no longer into partisan politics. I am now an elder statesman. So, I just want the best for the state and peace for the state.
“If that be the case, as an elder statesman, Okunbor should not be seen to be making political comments in the media,” Imadiyi said.
“Rather, he should advise the PDP candidate to gallantly accept defeat as that is the honourable thing to do. There is nothing to reconcile! To close ranks, according to Okunbor is to unite towards fighting a common course but Ize-Iyamu and Obaseki do not share any common course to pursue either as individuals or as representatives of their political parties.
“Even the Bini interest in question can hardly be said to be a common denominator to them as the Lucky Igbinedion regime which Ize-Iyamu was an integral part of, did not only fail to execute any meaningful projects in any part of Bini land, but also continuously disrespected, derided and denied the Oba of his statutory allocations.
“What then can be adjudged as Bini interest in a man whose regime perpetually rivaled the palace which stands as the foremost symbol of Bini glorious history and present interest? On the other hand, even the blind can see the giant developmental strides wrought in Bini land by the Adams Oshiomhole administration of which Godwin Obaseki was the brainbox. The same Oshiomhole regime restored to the palace, all the statutory allocations denied it by the rapacious Lucky Igbinedion/Ize-Iyamu administration.
“One wishes that Okunbor had explained in more detail what exactly he meant by ‘a Bini interest’ which Ize-Iyamu shares with Obaseki because the issue at stake here is Obaseki’s well earned electoral victory as against the inordinate ambition of Ize-Iyamu for which Okunbor should prevail on him to withdraw from court.”