June 13, 2024

Bustan Daily

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Oshiomhole’s 2016 verbal attacks on Ize- Iyamu a lesson for politicians — Osunbor, ex-Edo gov

3 min read

A professor of law and former Edo State Governor , Prof
Oserheimen Osunbor , speaks to JOHN ALECHENU about the
current political situation in Edo , the crisis in the All Progressives
Congress , the contentious clause in the Nigeria – China loan
agreement , and court orders that gave victories to governors in
Imo, Zamfara , and Bayelsa , among other issues
As a former senator and governor , give a general political
assessment of what is happening in your state – Edo – at the
moment ?
At the moment , intense campaign is going on
preparatory to the governorship election coming up on
September 19 , about six weeks away . There is tension
and apprehension everywhere . This is not unexpected
considering that the stakes are very high because
whoever wins will have a rare chance of affecting the
destiny of our people by impacting their lives in
diverse ways , including the siting of projects , provision
of infrastructure and generally stamping their name in
history, good or bad . It is my hope that the campaigns
and the election itself will be conducted peacefully and
without bloodshed . Elections in Edo State have
generally been peaceful and I expect it will be so again
this time .
governorship election is coming up in September and with
the polity already heated up , what can and should be done
to avoid violence ?
The candidates themselves and party leaders should
eschew hateful and inciting statements . They should
rein in on the excesses of their followers and
supporters . Everyone must abide by the rules and
comport themselves in accordance with the law . The
security and law enforcement agencies have a duty to
be proactive by deploying their intelligence- gathering
apparatus to pre – empt and avoid violence .
The APC which is your party has had its share of turbulence
at both the national and state levels. The incumbent
governor , Godwin Obaseki , had to leave to join the Peoples
Democratic Party . With the benefit of hindsight , do you
think the situation could have been better managed ?
Absolutely, the situation could have been better
managed . It is not just a matter of hindsight, because I
foresaw the danger and so did many others who tried
to broker reconciliation and restore calm in the face of
the looming turbulence . Crises within political parties
are ordinarily not unusual , especially for a ruling party
like the APC . Every major political party at one point
or the other experiences internal dissensions and
upheavals . However , it is the ability to resolve internal
crises that shows true leadership . With regard to the
events leading to the exit of Governor Godwin Obaseki ,
I tried my best to broker peace to no avail and so did
many others , including the Christian Association of
Nigeria . I will refer you to my press statement
published in the Vanguard Newspaper of June 6 , 2020
as well as in many online publications . In the
publication I pleaded that the crisis should be quickly
resolved by the national leadership of the party ,
otherwise the PDP would be gifted the governorship
position. That caution has turned out to be prophetic.
Edo State is now , regrettably , a PDP – controlled state
even before the election and the APC will be going into
the election as an opposition party .

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