Posted by News Express | 19 October 2019 | 1,073 times
Mr. Henry O. Idahagbon was the Attorney-General during Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s administration in Edo State. In this Interview, he spoke on the current crisis in Edo APC, among other issues. Excerpts…
There was news making the rounds that your health was failing and you were rushed abroad for treatment. How true is this?
Even if it happened, I am human, so as a human being, I can be sick and anybody can fall sick. I am an adult, I can be ill. But it can be verified, London is not very far, anyone can go and find out if I was in the hospital. In any case, I didn’t go for any treatment, London is not a place where facts can be hidden, it is not like Nigeria. I went to London because my son gained admission into a university, and I had to be there. I took him to the primary school, I took him to the secondary school, so now that he got admitted into the university, it is my duty as a father to see him and congratulate him. I was just there for my son, I went to play the role of a responsible parent. So, if my distractors were wishing me sickness in London, I leave them in the hands of God. God gives life, he gives good health, and I thank Him for the adequate good healthy He has given to me.
How do you see the statement credited to Governor Godwin Obaseki that his second term is not negotiable?
There is no fighting whatsoever; he is free to say anything if that is what he thinks of himself. Obaseki is a very poor student who has refused to learn the political process. It is unfortunate that he is taking the goodwill of Edo people and the political class for granted. Obaseki got the governorship on a platter, he didn’t work for it, he didn’t know how he became governor. He woke up suddenly and became the governor and he thinks it is that easy. Let me tell you that it is easier to win a first term election than win a second term election. When you are contesting the first term, people don’t know you, people voted for you based on the promises you made, but when you have spent three years in office, we now know you. We now know that Obaseki is capable of sleeping at ma- j o r m e e t – ings and e v e n t s . P e o p l e n o w know that there is a disparity between a spoken word and performance. Like Adams Oshiomhole often say that government is not about earmarking, is about eye marking, tell me one single project that he has executed that can be eye marked, everything about Obaseki is earmark. Edo people want eye mark. The eye mark is that Benin – City became one giant River Niger whenever the rain falls, some of the roads he constructed have been washed away because they were poorly executed. He gives out contracts without supervision, those are the things that we can eye mark in this government. You can fool some people some time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. We were deceived three years ago, we can’t be deceived the second time. He has randomly condemned the political class in Edo State; he has called us thieves, robbers, greedy disgruntled people, beggars and all kinds of names. Thank God he has not being sharing money with us; he should tell Edo people what he is doing with their money.
What if he wins?
This time around he will not have an easy ride, yes it is not negotiable, he is going to vote for himself. How many of his family members will vote for Obaseki? I spoke with one of them recently and he told me to stop calling him Godwin Obaseki, that I should just call him God-win. He can become boastful and says whatever he likes, it is a democracy, the minority will have their say, and the majority will have their way. He can talk as much as he likes, but on the day of the primary election, we will teach him the bitter side of politics, a political lesson he will not forget in his lifetime.
Some people have described the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) as disgruntled people. What is your take?
He is very free. If we are disgruntled we have the right to be disgruntled. We brought him from political obscurity to national and International political limelight. Then after doing that for him he abandoned us, called us names and he expects us to be happy with him? We cannot be happy with him. The only thing that could have pacified us is if he had performed. In the whole of metropolitan Benin – City, Obaseki has only done three roads. If you know of any road that he has done, I challenge the ingrates and his errand boys to come out and tell Edo people. I mean major roads, not the 200 unfit roads that had been washed away by the rains.
The majority of Edo people are saying that Obaseki is doing very well. Don’t you agree?
Pride goes before a fall. When the chips are down we will know what to do. We know what we did three years ago, and we know what to do again. Let them go ahead and be praising him, NUT has given him award, let NUJ give him award, let NMA give him award, let NWWW give him award, we don’t care. Oshiomhole in order to get Obaseki to be governor three years ago, worked on the centripetal and centrifugal forces, he brought together all these forces, he brought together the men, the women, the boys, the girls, the youth, the traditional institutions, he brought everybody together and offended the majority of the political class in Edo just for Obaseki to be where he is today. Today, all those forces are fighting among themselves because they have been used and abandoned, they have seen that is the nature and character of Obaseki: to use people and dump.
A group of of APC members placed an advertorial disowning EPM. Are you comfortable with that?
That is the handiwork of the state chairman who does not know what he is doing. Our state chairman is a man that has never contested any election in his lifetime, that is a man that has never won his ward in his local government. He is the worst state chairman Edo state and Nigeria has ever produced. Can you compare him to the vibrant PDP state party chairman? You can see Chief Dan Orbih going everywhere criticizing, doing his job as an opposition. Let no one be deceived, the EPM is the conscience of the Edo APC, we are the conscience. We have a party that had been decimated by the state chairman, and we have a government that has lost touch with the people. The EPM is the sole of APC in Edo State, we will determine who becomes the next governor of Edo State in 2020. We told our state chairman over two months ago to call a leadership meeting of the party where we can tell ourselves the truth, till this moment, he has not been able to do it. Our state party chairman is a failed chairman, he cannot summon the courage to do it, and he has become the mouthpiece of the governor. The party is superior to the governor; the state chairman is bigger than the governor. He supposed to seat in his office and call the governor to come and explain his government policies. He has forgotten that there is a great difference between the party and the governor. In a democratic setting, the party is supreme. In any case, when we get to the bridge we know how to cross it. (New Telegraph)
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