By John Mayaki
A fact that is true with political actors across the world is that they divide opinions. For people who pursue their own convictions on a public lectern, who submit themselves to a barrage of opinions and scrutiny, they draw passionate reactions from the masses, some positive, others negative.
By settling on an agenda, pursuing it boldly and convincing others to join their course, those who see room for improvement within the agenda will offer praises, others who perceive damage – either for justifiable reasons or not – will say otherwise and virulently trying to put the man and his agenda down. It is the way of politics.
But that is not to say that every criticism is driven by malice, lest we provide a comfortable cover for the incompetent politicians whose poor plans or maladministration have done real harm and deservedly get widespread criticism, rejection, and dismissal. Or deny noble people their due praise and commendation by chalking it all up to bias or emotional quip.
For a man like Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu whose history, old and recent, has been subjected to another round of scrutiny with his declaration of interest in the governorship position of Edo State under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress, a party he helped form, it is important, and for the benefit of the Edo people, that his true character is ascertained and his records are analyzed without the coloration of hatred and envy from those who are understandably terrified by his stout stature and the threat he poses to their fruitless dalliance with power.
In the court of these ones, there is no victory. And their jaundiced judgement, passed without any evaluation of the facts, is what they are trying to ram down the people’s throats through devious propaganda tactics and mischievous media campaigns.
To know who Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is and what his antecedents are, we must call on distinguished characters like Dr. Ehiogie West Idahosa and Dr. Ofunre Eboreime who have the merit of witnessing the beginning of Pastor Ize-Iyamu’s involvement at the beginning, and a lived life of integrity and substance that give weight to their words.
“Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu is an uncommon political actor. Indeed, he is a super, but selfless manager of men,” Dr. Ehiogie West Idahosa said.
“Since 1979, that he became known to some of us, he delights in putting social and political organizations together for the good of society. From our Edo College days till date, I can’t think of a better political organizer of his generation. Many have reaped the fruits of his political skills.”
“Surprisingly, this is his second attempt to contest an election in his political career. The first was in 2016 when he ran against Obaseki for the post of Governor of Edo State. Many believe that he won that election, but lost it to very serious election manipulation visible to the blind.”
“This second attempt by Ize-Iyamu to run for the same post is more in response to a big call from the political class to offer an opportunity to an accomplished home grown politician to show the organizational wizardry in him in respect of policy conception, actualization, review, sensible redistribution of wealth, management of men and materials, preservation of culture and the renaissance of Edo political helmsmanship in preparation for a solid return to national relevance.”
On his part, Dr. Ofunre Eboreime who is quick to offer the clarification of not being a politician or a man subscribed to the bifurcate politics many take part in where views are streamlined and informed by who is “on our side” and who is not, he describes Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as a man that “enjoys a great, unassailable pedigree.”
“He is kind, humane, humble, and willing to assist anybody no matter his or her background or political leanings. A grassroots mobilizer and strategist. I do not have any hidden agenda but think it’s my duty to express my views too.”
Dr. Ofunre speaks of duty because he knows what is at stake. Edo people are at an important crossroads of history, about to make a decision that would impact the fate of the state in many years to come.
And so, in the incumbent, they have a man without achievement, campaigning by soiling the image of others, misrepresenting events, and telling bold-faced lies – to let him get away with it is to sit back and do nothing.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has refused to allow this and everyone – politician or not, who seek the progress of the state must join him. It is not in Ize-Iyamu’s character to succumb to an incompetent bully. That is not who he is. It is in his character to push back against great odds in defense of what is right and will profit the people – that is who he is.
*Prince John Mayaki is the Director of Communication and Media, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organization