Convener of the group, Esan Agenda, Mr. Akhere Obozele, has advised the Adams Oshiomhole-backed candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu to suspend his aspiration of becoming Edo State governor, in order to save him the humiliation Esan people have reserved for the sacked APC national chairman.
Obozele, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital on Tuesday, said “the odds against the APC candidate increased the moment the sacked APC national chairman threw his weight behind him.”
According to him, “For Esan people, this election is first about a governor that has worked so hard, and in the people’s estimation, deserves a second term in office. Beyond Governor Godwin Obaseki’s second term ticket, which Obaseki will get without much ado, come September 19, 2020, this election is also about the redemption of Esan people from the series of humiliation meted on us by Oshiomhole.”
He added: “This is the Esan consensus. Nothing will change this. After relegating and humiliating Esan people for the eight years he was governor, Oshiomhole set up a structure that he designed to relegate us to political irrelevance in the state and that would ensure an Esan man or woman never gets even a deputy governorship position in another 16 years by pairing Obaseki with Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu.
“When he realised that Obaseki and Shaibu couldn’t be used to accomplish his hate-laced plan, Oshiomhole chose Gani Audu as running mate to the current APC governorship candidate. In his warped mind, his calculation is that Ize-Iyamu will be governor for eight years after which his fellow Etsako man, Audu will take over as governor for yet another eight years of two terms. If that were to happen, Esan people would have been kept out of Government House for 36 years, between 1999-2036, (save for the one year and six months, Prof. Oserieme Osunbor was governor).
Mr. Obozele explained: “Between 1999 and 2007, we had Lucky Igbinedion, a Benin man, as governor, for eight years; between May 29, 2007-Nov. 2008, we had Prof. Osunbor, an Esan man, who was in office for one year and six months. From 2008-2016, we had Oshiomhole’s eight years, an Etsako man. So if Oshiomhole could stop Obaseki, a Benin man after four years, God forbid, 2006-2020, and then have Ize-Iyamu, a Benin man for eight years (2020-2028) and Gani Audu, an Etsako man, for eight years 2028-2036, the Esan people would have been relegated politically, beyond redemption for 36 years out of the 37 years and some months of our return to democracy (1999 to 2036). By 2036, Gani Audu would have completed Oshiomhole’s anti-Esan political calendar for Edo State and perhaps his first circle of inexplicable hatred for Esan people, yet he denies being a godfather.”
The Esan Agenda Convener added: “In fact, to think that Esan people gave him their daughter as first wife, even mystifies things for us, Esan people. We do not know where his hatred for us is coming from.
“Well, that matter is for another day. With Obaseki in the saddle, Esan people have seen redemption from Oshiomhole’s shenanigans and we will do everything to snatch this opportunity which Obaseki’s second term has given us.
So in summary, Obaseki’s second term is by way of expression, a liberation move for Esan people, because after him, we will produce the governor.
“Also very important to us is Oshiomhole’s desecration of our long held traditions and customs. He dethroned and humiliated our Onojie of Uromi and we will use the lifetime opportunity given to us at the polls to dethrone and humiliate him and his candidate on election day.
“Again, it was Obaseki who took that terrible insult, shame and humiliation away from our faces. The least we owe Obaseki in this election, is for all Esan sons and daughters to go to the polls and vote against APC candidate and his godfather. That way we will be telling Obaseki, thank you sir, we appreciate your good heart.”