The Progressives Governors Forum which comprises governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has warned that the ousted national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, leading the party to diminishing electoral viability in the governorship election in Edo State. The APC governors cautioned that the former national chairman is weakening the APC and strengthening the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with his vituperations and political behaviourals in the electioneering campaign for the September governorship election in Edo State.
The Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum, Salihu Lukman, at the weekend, cautioned that Oshiomhole is destroying the electoral fortunes of the APC in the Edo State governorship election. He noted Oshiomhole’s dispositions continue to make the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate emerge “very strongly all of a sudden”, attracting more solidarity, in the electioneering campaign in the state.
Salihu Lukman warned that Oshiomhole has made the drumbeat of war sound louder in Edo State than communicating to the people of the state the policies and programmes that will make the difference in their lives after the election. Lukman observed that Oshiomhole also pushed the APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to the sideline, taking over the hegemony of APC’s campaign, and reducing Ize-Iyamu to “an onlooker”.
Lukman in a statement at the weekend admonished APC leaders: “As opposed to reconciliation, it is loud drums of war that has taken over the airwaves in Edo State.
“Comrade Oshiomhole has relocated to Edo State and taken over the APC campaign and the campaign is proceeding in a manner that suggests the Edo State governorship election is an extension of the personal battle between the governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and Oshiomhole.
“The APC campaign is personalised around Comrade Oshiomhole and the candidate of the party, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, is an onlooker. The soundbite from the Edo APC campaign is so offensive to the point where Comrade Oshiomhole appears to be disowning almost every APC (member) in Edo State between 2016 and now.
“To that extent, it simply means Comrade Oshiomhole is disowning himself, which may be why he went on his knees begging the Edo people for forgiveness.
“Based on the personalised way the APC Edo State campaign is being carried out, PDP all of a sudden is coming out very strongly to campaign for votes.”
The DG further warned that Oshiomhole is leading APC to “the problem of diminishing electoral viability”. He maintained that the only credential of APC in Edo is “on account of the personal popularity of President Buhari”.
Salihu Lukman called for precaution over who will be the real governor of Edo after the governorship election, now that Ize-Iyamu has been made “an onlooker”.
Salihu Lukman advocated: “If our party wants Edo people to vote for our candidate, Pastor Ize-Iyamu must be very visible and be seen as the face of the campaign.” He insisted: “Comrade Oshiomhole should take a backseat and play the facilitator role our leaders play in all similar circumstances.”