Paul Ohonbamu is the Edo State Commissioner for Communications and Orientation. In this Interview with OJIEVA EHIOSUN, he spoke on sundry issues
What is your view on the arrest of your colleague, the Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Diaspora Affairs, Osaze Osemwingie Ero, by the INTERPOL for alleged money laundering offence? The government has issued a release in connection with that issue.
It is someone that put it on the social media, we cannot authenticate the truth of the matter, and government should be able to have something concrete on it before saying yes or no. But I want to tell you that it is very difficult particularly in this present government headed by President Muhammadu Buhari for a serving government official to launder money. If the story is true, it is the duty of the government of that country to call the attention of the Nigerian government to it.
But, as the communication head in the state, I want to put it to you that our governor cannot get himself involved in such a mess. We haven nothing to do with it. Most importantly, Governor Godwin Obaseki is too transparent to be involved in money laundering matters.
How do you see the purported suspension of Adams Oshiomhole? Is he still relevant in Edo APC?
Oshiomhole on his own has approved his political liquidation and he has no one to blame for it. Yes, some people hold him in high esteem, but because of the inherent weakness in him, pride, arrogant, vanity, frivolities and intoxicated pride, he has squandered everything away. It is very unfortunate.
Do you think Obaseki can defeat Ize-Iyamu without Oshiomhole’s support? Our governor will perform marvelously well without Oshiomhole, just like he did well when Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu contested against him in 2016. Ize-Iyamu was defeated woefully at the polls, so the same thing will happen on the day of election in Edo.
Our ‘Wake and See’ governor will have an overwhelming victory. But many people believe that Oshiomhole holds the ace as far as APC is concerned, don’t you agree with that school of thought? When you say for many, those are the foolish people; they don’t know the dynamics of politics. If knife or cutlass is blunt it cannot cut anything, the sharp edge is gone. It has been rumoured that people like you won’t find your names on the voters list on the day of the party primaries.
What are you doing abou it?
I am an automatic delegate, we know those that would be delegate or not. Nobody can deny us of that. If by omission or commission, I do not find my name in the delegate list, that issue would be addressed before voting can commence. If you want to steal, you do it diplomatically so that people will not know, but have not done 40 per cent of what this governor has done had been given that right of first refusal. So if not for people playing God, why is it that Obaseki’s own is different? He ought not to contest with anybody until he says I’m not going.
That is the right of first refusal. As far as I am concerned, all the people that have come out, even the latest man, Ize-Iyamu, are all negative alternatives. Rumour has it that the governor may join PDP if he is denied APC ticket.
How true is this? I have said it times without number that Obaseki is somebody who has tenacity of purpose, Obaseki is not given to political harlotry, he is the vice chairman of progressive governors forum, and APC is his party, he would hold on to it tenaciously, he will contest on that platform and win election.
He is discussing with prominent people in the society simply because he is a likeable person and a jolly good fellow. People want to tap from his knowledge because he is a very knowledgeable person, they see him as somebody they can work and collaborate with, because collaboration is a tool in governance. And for the governor to deliver the needed dividends of democracy to the people, he must collaborate with people and agencies. For Obaseki, the world is his country, everybody and all mankind. He does not discriminate, he takes everybody as one and that is why he is doing very well as governor.
But I want to assure you that for those who want to destroy our party, we will deal with them mercilessly.