Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu
By Isaac Asabor
Taking a non-partisan and dispassionate look on Pastor Osaze Ize-Iyamu’s race to Osadebey Avenue on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), virtually all intelligent and unflustered political analysts and observers alike have been unanimous in their views that he would record unprecedented developments and achievements for Edo State when given the opportunity by the people, particularly now Edolites are undeniably in search of a good governor.
The foregoing optimistic view is no doubt been held by a wide spectrum of the electorates in the State, and this is deeply rooted in their collective subliminal despite the massive campaigns of calumny and propaganda embarked upon by members of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), in the state.
Without any iota of exaggeration, members of the Edo PDP are latching on the negative comments made by the then governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole when he was campaigning for the present incumbent governor in the state, Mr. Godwin Obaseki. At this juncture, permit me to say that those casting aspersion on the former comrade governor who I still hold in high esteem are oblivious of the fact that election season is never pretty in any part of the world, and Edo is no exception. Sleazy comments, tell-all books, personal attacks, have seemingly characterized such season that usually takes span of months. To me, it was unarguably the political milieu that inspired Oshiomhole. Ordinarily, its baselessness ought to have been understood; even by a political neophyte.
To political observers, all is fair in love and war, and elections can count as modern-day warfare, which is why some leeway is sort of acceptable for the nastiness that precedes an election. However, even wars have rules, and certain events have transpired that, no matter what side of the political divide anyone finds himself, he would completely remain unforgivable. Not only are we getting to witness the true face of our politicians, we are witnessing the true face of the general populace as well, and it’s ugly. On the social media, this writer has for the umpteenth times being insulted from different caliber of people. That is politics!
When the governorship candidate recently accused the leaders and members of the PDP of lacking tact and strategy, I was not in any way nonplussed as what he said is a fact. He added that they have resorted to giving excuses and mudslinging, and that it was shameful for PDP leaders to field Godwin Obaseki as its standard-bearer for the September 19 governorship election after condemning him in the recent past as a non-achiever as the Edo governor.
Against the foregoing backdrop, it is expedient to ask, “Why are PDP members in Edo so obsessed with the negative things Oshiomhole said about Ize-Iyamu in 2016? Does it mean they cannot play issue-based politics?”
It is really a shame that the leader of PDP campaign team in Edo State does not know what the source of Character Assassination is. If he knows, he would have changed tactics. Throwing light on what character assassination really is, Deborah Bavandt asserted that it is tantamount to Jealousy, and explained that it originates from limitation. She added that “A jealous person sees you as having a gift, skill, charisma, talent, or ability that he or she does not have. The mindset of a jealous person is manipulation. How does a Jealous Person manipulate? A Jealous Person controls a group’s perception of you, the Gifted Person, by possessing a group’s opinion by claiming you are full of fault.” Analyzed from the foregoing perspective, it is little wonder that Ize-Iyamu has by each passing day being facing character assassination from members of the PDP in Edo.
Despite all the campaigns of calumny been aimed at Ize-Iyamu since electioneering was flagged off in the state, political pundits have insisted that he remained the best gubernatorial candidate among all the aspirants that are affiliated to the 14 political parties that will participate in the general election come September 19, 2020.
The rationale for the foregoing assessment cannot be farfetched as the challenges which Edo state today is facing with varied socio-economic, security, political and cultural challenges have unarguably defied the inept leadership that are been applied to address them. There is no denying the fact that the state requires a new, committed and dedicated leadership which only Ize-Iyamu presently has. He is the only one that has what it takes to provide qualitative and humane services with people-centred governance that would guard the State aright in the next political dispensation.
Without resorting to falsehood, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is the Man Edolites and APC as a political party needs to deliver on the new deal of rebuilding the public trust in government so that citizens can once again begin to re-engage with their government.
He has the requisite leadership qualities, experience, exposure, discipline and the depth of commitment to provide this required leadership.
Being a man a wide spectrum of the electorates in the State believe in, and being a man of God, Ize-Iyamu, while basking in the euphoria of his victory after the primary election told party members and supporters that his election as the APC standard bearer for September 19 governorship election in Edo State was an opportunity for them to get it right this time.
While exuding confidence on what he can do as a governor when given the support, he described the process that produced him as a reference point, and also seized the frenzy of the moment to unveil his agenda themed SIMPLE.
He said, “This time, we must get it right. And the work to make this a reality must continue with revitalized passion and zeal. Our victory today is only the beginning. We must now all come together, renew our loyalty to the party, and march with sturdy strides on this new path that beckons.”
While first thanking God for a successful conduct of the primaries and the safety of APC members, including officials of all agencies, who took part across the state, Ize-Iyamu also thanked the APC leaders, “President Muhammadu Buhari for his fatherly disposition and democratic stance that set the stage for a free and transparent contestation devoid of institutional bias, favoritism, or imposition of any kind.”
He contended that the bold insistence on adherence to the constitution of the party, even amid immense pressure, was a great show of leadership that served as a reminder to all that the APC is a party founded on sacred values central to its growth and survival.
Against the foregoing backdrop, there is no axiomatic expression that clearly demonstrates the fact that in spite of the campaign of calumny that is been launched against the person of Ize Iyamu that his gubernatorial potentials remain glaring than the one that says, “Rain beats a leopard’s skin, but it does not wash out the spots”. Interpretatively put in this context, no matter how long his traducers may decide to calumniate him, his qualities as a leader and chances in the upcoming election will not be washed away; they will remain glaring.