*Says Tinubu, other ‘extra-constitutional players’ threats to democracy
*Insists no plans to return to APC
Udora Orizu in Abuja
The Governor of Edo, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday said that he had no intention of driving former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, out of town as he threatened during the governorship campaign, but if he continues to unleash his lions on Edo state, then there will be no mercy for him.
Obaseki, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, had during the gubernatorial election in Edo state on Saturday defeated his closest rival, All Progressives Congress’ Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who was backed by Oshiomhole, the governor’s estranged godfather.
He said this Tuesday on The Morning Show of ARISE TV, the broadcast arm of THISDAY newspapers.
The governor while responding to a question on his threat during his reelection campaign to drive Oshiomhole out of Edo if he was reelected, said he had no intentions to do that but warned that if the former governor continues to be disruptive, and creates problems for Edo people, then he will show no mercy, adding that it’s totally up to Oshiomole to decide what to do.
Speaking on Ize-Iyamu’s silence since his victory and if he will be accepting President Buhari’s advice on being magnanimous, Obaseki expressed his willingness to be magnanimous to Ize-Iyamu if he comes through.
He said that he had no issues with Ize-Iyamu, rather the problem were factors outside of him which were the people who lured him into the contest.
According to him, ”This is not the first time I’m contesting with Pastor Ize-Iyamu, we have family relationship, he’s a pastor and I go to church. We cannot live a life of acrimony or hate, he played his politics on how he knows how to and I did mine. I will be magnanimous if he comes through, we will have the conversation, there’s enough room for us to have such conversation. I don’t think the problem is Pastor Ize-Iyamu, I know him. I think the problems are factors outside of him, the people who lured him into the contest, I’m sure they are the same ones who are trying to fester the acrimony.
”So between us there are no issues. The day he calls or makes up his mind on what to do moving forward I’m sure we will be able to have that conversation. But there are people who work with him that know what they’ve done and have been very vicious and evil, I will be surprised if they have the courage to even come up and seek reconciliation.”
When asked if he will apply that spirit of magnanimity, if Oshiomole and a couple of others comes to him, the governor said he’s likely to forgive others but not someone like Oshiomhole.
He explained that Oshiomole; the national leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and others like him were threats to Nigeria’s democracy, adding that they cannot sit in the comfort of their houses and determine who becomes what and who gets into what office.
Obaseki said, ”Certainly, but for someone like Comrades Adams Oshiomole, I wouldn’t want to say much here but clearly when you find that you’ve been deceived, we don’t share the same values or trust at all, it’s his responsibility to build back those trust and to build back trust. As we say in Edo everybody should now maintain their lane, as whatever he is and I will maintain mine.’
”For us the challenge with people like Oshiomhole, Tinubu and others is that they pose a great danger to our democracy, they are extra constitutional players, they constituted themselves into what they say they are, they try to overlap themselves over people who have constitutional authority and if we allow them to continue, they will destroy our democracy. For me it’s straight forward, it’s not a personal issue but about their role in our democracy.’
”You cannot have people who are guided by the constitution in office and people who don’t have such mandate or authority or any checks on their conduct come and say they want to control people who have been properly constituted in office. Oshiomole and Tinubu are non-constitutional actors. They cannot sit in the comfort of their house or wherever they are and determine who becomes what and who gets into what office. It’s very anti democratic.”
On if he will consider returning to APC, the governor said that will be immoral of him, hence he had no plans to return to his former party.
His words, ”At this point in time I have been elected on a platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and I have made promises to the people of Edo state, it’s not about me, I won election on the platform of PDP, it will be immoral and unfair of me to have any other consideration at this point about leaving the platform that gave me the mandate and there must be morals in politics and at this point in time I don’t think it’s right to jettison the platform, particularly when I have no issues with the party.”
When asked of his views about, his Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, the governor of River State Nyesom Wike and others who stood by him, Obaseki said ”My deputy governor and I share same values, that’s why through thick and thing he was there for me. For him it’s not about money, it’s about belief, truth , honesty and human values. You don’t have to be a crook, a fox to be a politician. You can be noble and straightforward person and still be a politician.”
On Wike, he said, “if he’s not convinced about a situation or an idea, there’s no way you can bully him to, but once he’s convinced and believes in you, he will put everything into supporting what he believes in. He’s a very committed person, he’s committed to PDP and he’s also a very supportive and considerate person. He’s fearless, if he believes in a cause he will fight for it, you can’t cower him. It’s not true that he didn’t not support me, when I was first disqualified he was one of the first people I went to in Port Harcourt and he advised on what to do, all that time we were going back and forth, he was going to make sure that certain issues were cleared so that to avoid challenges in the future and glad he did.”