Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Chairman of the PDP Edo State Governorship Campaign Council, has described Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Edo State governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, as a bad product which cannot be sold to the good and discerning people of Edo State.
He was, however, countered by Ize-Iyamu, who said it was the electorate in Edo State that would decide a bad product and not Wike.
Ize-Iyamu said: “When did I become a bad product? When I left PDP as their gubernatorial candidate and became an APC member?
”It is not Wike who will determine who is a good product. Edo people will decide.’’
But speaking on a television programme on Thursday, Wike said: “If he (Adams Oshiomhole) tells you that a particular politician is a bad product that cannot be sold, you can take that to the bank and keep your money or better still invest it in a better product that will give you more value for your money.”
Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, gave a statement, on the television programme.
He said: “Wike after an analysis, backed with supporting video footages from the campaigns of the last election in the state, he declared with unequivocal clarity, that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the Edo State governorship candidate of APC is a bad product and you cannot sell a bad product to good and discerning people of Edo State.
“Wike said Adams Oshiomhole told Edo people that Ize-Iyamu was rusticated from school; that he poured acid on a fellow student that destroyed his manhood.
“That he is an armed robber that cannot be trusted with money. Such a character cannot be accepted by Edo people as Governor during the election.
“I respect the Bini tradition and I know that Edo people are educated to know that Oshiomhole cannot play on their intelligence. If he is now retracting what he said of Ize-Iyamu, who is sure that he’s saying the correct thing now.
“Oshiomhole’s sudden U-turn is a great insult on Edo people. This is an opportunity for Edo people, both at home and in the Diaspora, to use their votes to tell Oshiomole that they cannot take his lies anymore.
“From all indications, it is obvious that there is no strong opposition against Obaseki and he will win convincingly.”
According to Wike, the description of Pastor Ize-Iyamu as a bad product that cannot be sold to Edo people by the former APC National Chairman has already boosted the PDP and Governor Obaseki’s campaign immensely.
He added: “It makes it easy for the governor to now concentrate his campaign on issues of governance and his numerous achievements in the last four years.
“Sadly, Pastor Ize-Iyamu has nothing to offer Edo people, except the empty promises, which even Oshiomhole has dismissed by telling the world that Ize-Iyamu tells lies too much.
“The only hope the APC is relying on now, according to Governor Wike, is to rig the Edo State governorship elections, because it knows that the people of the state will not buy the bad product Oshiomhole is presenting as the party’s candidate in the September 19 governorship elections.
“This has prompted Wike to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, to leave a lasting democratic legacy behind, by ensuring that the Edo State guber election is free and fair and devoid of the intimidation and threatened subversion of the electoral laws, which some APC members are planning to unleash on Edo people on election day.
“It was not easy to have a sole candidate for the party in Edo state. People thought there will be problems, given the fact that Obaseki was coming from another party. But party members who are grounded and believe in the Party didn’t see any sacrifice too much to make.”
He noted the success recorded by the PDP in conducting free and fair party primaries in Edo and Ondo states, adding that he and his team accepted the responsibility to lead the campaign in Edo because they are satisfied with results coming out already from Edo State.
He commended the Delta State Governor and South-South Governors Forum Chairman, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, for his impressive efforts in strengthening the nation’s democracy with the promotion of internal politics and resolving conflict of interests of members to achieve common goals.
His words: “That is exactly what Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as the Chairman of South-South States’ Governors had done.
“He is making sure that we are all on the same page to ensure that all States in the South-South are controlled by the PDP.
“Indeed, only very few people will disagree with the Edo State PDP Governorship Campaign Council Chairman on his comprehensive political analysis and especially on the electoral truism that you cannot sell a bad product, no matter how many times you kneel down to beg the people.”
Meanwhile, berating Wike, Chairman, Edo State APC Campaign Council, Mr John Mayaki, said in a statement: ”The real bad product is the dying PDP and its band of tax-collectors as described by the same man, Wike, who alerted the world to how the leaders of his party sold its ticket to Obaseki.
“They are stuck with a man they roundly condemned as a failure. The verdict of the PDP on the third anniversary of Obaseki’s administration is available for all to read.
“To quote Dan Orbih, who is Wike’s stooge and the then PDP-Chairman directly, ‘the governor has not delivered on the 200,000 jobs he promised youths in Edo State. Our roads are begging for attention. There is worsening insecurity, in spite of the huge amount of security vote he withdraws monthly’.
“We believe Nigerians know not to take the likes of Wike seriously. His interest in Edo State is very curious.
“Why did he reverse his decision to hands-off when his attempt to nominate Orbih as Obaseki’s running mate was rebuffed by the PDP tax collectors after money exchanged hands?
“Wike’s reckless outbursts and mouth diarrhoea, which saw him disparage his state’s traditional rulers have already discredited him before well-meaning Nigerians. He is inconsequential in Edo State and his endless rants are of no effect.
“Ize-Iyamu continues to enjoy the goodwill of Edo people as seen in the rising number of endorsements recorded daily. It is of no doubt, at this point, that he is going to win the election by a landslide.”