Revealed: Governorship ambition, cabinet posts behind Ize-Iyamu’s exit from APC
Squabbles over the 2015 polls and cold calculations over Edo gubernatorial polls in 2016 are the principal reasons behind the exit of some chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Party(APC) last Monday.
Announcing their resignation, one- time Secretary to the Edo State Government, Pastor Osagie Ize- Iyamu, Abubakar Momoh (Reps member, Etsakor), Tony Omoaghe, Alhaji Shagadi and their supporters cited “manipulation of the recent election” and “lack of internal democracy” as their grouse.
Specifically, Ize- Iyamu said: The governor was being held hostage “by people who have no idea about how a party is run and how a party is managed.”
But checks by The Nation revealed that the party leaders were aggrieved over their inability to take control of the party structures to enhance their chances in the forthcoming general elections as we get close to the 2016 governorship polls in Edo State.
Momoh, who currently represents Etsakor in the House of Representatives, has signified his intention to vie for the party’s Senatorial ticket for Edo State. The office is currently occupied by Senator Domingo Obende.
Ize-Iyamu is believed to be eyeing Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s seat come 2016. He was the SSG to the Chief Lucky Igbinedion administration.
Before decamping Monday, Ize-Iyamu, it was gathered, listed the dissolution of the state executive council and allocation of eight portfolios to be occupied by his nominees as condition to remain in the party.
Oshiomhole, according to a top APC chieftain who attended the last “peace meeting” in Benin City, refused to accede to Ize-Iyamu’s demand.
Said the source: ”These guys are simply too consumed by their ambition. Abubakar Momoh is unhappy with Comrade because the governor does share the sentiment that Etsakor should not produce governor as well as the Senator for Edo North.”
Obende is of Akoko Edo extraction while the incumbent SSG, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, who is eyeing the ticket, is of Owan extraction. Oshiomhole is Etsakor.
“On the other hand, Omoaghe, who was an unpopular factional chairman of the PDP in the Igbinedion years, now wanted to be made the state chairman of the APC by all means. He told Oshiomhole point- blank to deliver the post to him as his own form of settlement.
“Apart from his demand of eight plum cabinet posts, Pastor (Ize-lyamu) also wanted the Comrade Governor to ensure he takes over the party structures in Edo South which accounts for close to 60 per cent of Edo voters. The man is simply too obsessed with his ambition to succeed Oshiomhole by all means.
“Left to some of us, the governor should not be sitting with these political traitors . But Comrade Oshiomhole seemed to believe he could still win them over even when Ize- lyamu continually exhibited bad faith.
“The meeting was supposed to be the last- ditch effort by a mutual friend to reconcile Comrade Governor and Pastor after they (Ize – Iyamu and co) went to Abuja to wine and dine with President Goodluck Jonathan and Chief Tony Anenih.”
Interestingly, cracks appeared in the Ize -Iyamu camp on Thursday when Elder Igbinanke, earlier listed among the decampees on Monday, came out to disown the Ize- Iyamu group. Igbinanke, a notable politician in Ovia North East APC, explained that they were tricked into attending the Monday meeting.
“We were told we were going to discuss the issues of the party congress. They asked us to put down our names. Little did we know that the attendance list would be tendered as proof that we are in support of decamping. It was a dirty trick. I hereby disown Ize- lyamu and co. I remain in APC and loyal to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.”
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