Osagie Ize-Iyamu, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo, says Adams Oshiomhole deliberately lied to the people of Edo to pave way for the emergence of Godwin Obaseki in 2016.
Speaking at a governorship debate organised by Channels Television on Sunday, Ize-Iyamu said Oshiomhole, a former governor of the state, gave the impression that his election campaign was funded by Obaseki as part of efforts to market the incumbent governor to the people.
Oshiomhole governed Edo state from 2008 to 2016.
The ex-governor had actively campaigned for Obaseki’s in 2016, when the governor contested on the platform of the APC and Ize-Iyamu was candidate of the the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
While speaking on his relationship with Oshiomhole during the debate, Obaseki said: “Having left labour (Oshiomhole was president of the Nigeria Labour Congress), he had no money and he didn’t even live in Edo state. Putting together some friends, he was able to prosecute his ambition and we supported him. I put together his plans for his administration and for eight years I worked pro bono to make him succeed.
“So, having worked closely with him, it was clear I could continue with the plan I had given him and that was why he was encouraged to support my coming in as governor.”
But Ize-Iyamu dismissed the claim, saying Obaseki had no resources that could have had any significant impact on Oshiomhole’s victory at the poll.
According to the APC candidate, the former governor’s claim that Obaseki sponsored his election campaign was a “desperate attempt to market him” during the 2016 governorship poll.
“I’m shocked that Governor Obaseki, who has never voted in Edo state until his own election in 2016, would tell the world he more or less brought Oshiomhole,” he said.
“When I heard that he claimed that he raised the money, I laughed, and the first time I saw Oshiomhole after a long time, I asked him. The reality is that the money Governor Obaseki brought for Oshiomhole election, his own contribution was N100,000.
“We know how we raised money for Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s election. So, I’m surprised that in public like this, we can continue with a lie that was meant to dress you up for political acceptability.
“Oshiomhole needed desperately to market you and he gave the impression that you funded his election and you know it’s not true because you’re not in a position to do so because your Afriinvest would have been at the lowest ebb; you were not doing well as a stockbroker, so you didn’t even have the resources.”