A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has said it could be a welcome development for APC to have a consensus candidate for the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Mr Ize-Iyamu was a governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2016 governorship election in Edo.
He recently decamped from PDP to APC, fueling suspicion that he may have the backing of the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, for the APC governorship ticket in the state.
“I am a team player. I think if we can get to a level we can actually engage ourselves, interface, and then come up with a consensus, it saves a lot of money, a lot of stress, a lot of bitterness, a lot of rivalry, you know, I will be fine,” Mr Ize-Iyamu said in a video posted recently on YouTube.
The politician said there is nothing wrong with APC having a consensus candidate for the election. He revealed that he and three others are holding talks in that regard.
“But the consensus some people are advocating which is that one that is founded on force and imposition, nobody will support that. But a genuine consensus based on dialogue, based on mutual respect, based on persuasion, will be supported,” he added.
Edo governor, Godwin Obaseki, who is engaged in a bitter political fight with Mr Oshiomhole, who is his predecessor, recently stirred controversy in the state when he remarked that he would get the party’s ticket for his second term bid through a consensus.
“The last time an incumbent ran for governorship in our party in the state, it was a consensus. It will happen again; we will all agree on consensus. Whether direct or indirect primary, you, the people, will vote. Our plan is on the election, not the primaries,” the governor said at a meeting with APC leaders in Eredo local government area.
Mr Oshiomhole’s loyalists derided Mr Obaseki and accused him of being afraid to contest the party primary.
The governor has said he would win a second term, despite the opposition from Mr Oshiomhole and his supporters.
Mr Ize-Iyamu, in the YouTube video, said Governor Obaseki has abandoned governance in Edo to fight Mr Oshiomhole.
“The past one and a half year, the governor has abandoned governance, all the utterances we hear from him they are very inciting, provocative, not the kind of statement a chief executive should be making.
“I have heard him say, ‘I will deal with him’, ‘I will crush him’, ‘We will deal with them’, ‘We will direct our boys’. All those statements are deplorable.
“When you also realise who he is talking about most of the time, it’s worrisome. You are talking about somebody who was the immediate past governor of this state. Someone who more or less did everything to get you elected and more importantly somebody who is the national chairman of a party you belong to.
“For crying out loud, you must respect your chairman. That goes without saying, that whoever is your party chairman is first among equals. You owe him that respect.
“For some of us who have been playing politics for a long time, when the (party) chairman comes in, we stand up, it shows respect, it shows that we respect the party,” Mr Ize-Iyamu said.