The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Edo State governorship, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, may have incurred the wrath of the former APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, if they had not been in the same camp this time in the build up to the governorship election in Edo State.
Ize-Iyamu had in a seemingly self-defeatist campaign broadcast on his facebook page raised alarm that incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State is receiving N600 million monthly as a security vote but gives only N5 million to the Police. The responses from stakeholders in Edo State questioned the capacity of the APC candidate to be governor of the state. Many who responded expressed dismay that the APC candidate does not understand the meaning of security vote.
Some were surprised that the APC candidate had hypothetically fallen into the temptation of unconsciously proving Oshiomhole right or validating the former APC national chairman’s remarks in 2016 on Ize-Iyamu’s leadership capacity or his comments on the candidate’s academic credentials which have been trending widely on the social media, including some traditional media. Ize-Iyamu seemingly validated Oshiomhole’s remarks about him by appearing to be oblivion of meaning or the use of security votes which is received by the president, governors, including the senate president, house speaker and speakers of state assemblies. In fact, in several government departments and agencies, security votes are covertly extended to directors general, ministers and commissioners. The APC candidate may have scored himself low in his impressionable critique of incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki over N600 million monthly security vote, and the accusation of giving only N5 million to the Police. The APC candidate appears to be unaware that security vote as so-called does not represent security budget or implies security expenditure of the government. Interestingly, his sponsors in the election, Oshiomhole and others, have clear understanding of what security vote implies and the usage, being beneficiaries of the financial system in governance. Some stakeholders were of the view that “Nigerians can only imagine what Oshiomhole would have said of Ize-Iyamu with this kind of “unintelligent” public statement if they had not found themselves in the same camp.” They stated that if Ize-Iyamu had questioned the figure, the legality or expressed his opposition to the idea of security vote, he would have sounded more rational and more constructive.
Ize-Iyamu had in a live broadcast on his Facebook page on Monday, declared: “The present government has not been able to show serious commitment to security funding. Every month, the governor collects over N600 million as a security vote and gives the police N5 million, not even enough to fuel vehicles.” Such statement can only be made by someone who does not understand the dynamics or workings of government and the associated perquisites of office. Yet, such a candidate wants to be governor.
Perhaps, the APC governorship candidate needs help from his media team for constructive engagement.