The embattled Governor of Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki, still smarting from the dawning realization that while he decamped to a fractured party of tax collectors, the APC, across all levels, has united behind the candidacy of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, hid behind a faceless group of so-called ‘concerned citizens’ to issue a meaningless statement seeking to spread misinformation on the 700million naira PDP campaign funds case initiated by the EFCC.
The facts of investigations are already in the public domain alongside a clear explanation of why Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a man who has maintained an unblemished reputation in and outside of public service, was named as a party to the case in the first place.
As the then Director-General of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s Campaign Committee in Edo State, he, alongside other party officials, merely signed, as required by their position, to acknowledge that the privately-sourced funds meant for the campaign arrived the state before it was immediately disbursed across wards and Local Government for the purpose in which it was earmarked for.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu neither took receipt of the funds personally nor was a penny of it paid into his private accounts. This is a fact corroborated by many high-ranking officers of Governor Obaseki’s new party, including the late Chief Tony Anenih.
The same case was found of no merit in Yobe State where the court exonerated party members after they established that their role in attesting to the arrival of the fund before its onward distribution to party apparatus across different levels was neither personal nor an indictment of any misdeed. It was simply procedural. It is of no doubt the court will also clear Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu in the same way.
We would have asked Governor Godwin Obaseki to inquire these facts from his new bedmates considering that they were all witnesses to what transpired, but we understand that he is not presently on speaking terms with many of them who remain aggrieved with his imposition on the state chapter of the party after tax collectors reportedly took their due and forcibly handed him the ticket.
We also know that this propaganda is not for the lack of facts, but another weak attempt at distraction.
Edo people have been asking the embattled Governor for days now to clarify the source of the reported 9 billion naira he gave to the tax collectors in his party in exchange for its ticket, and the 350,000 naira paid individually to the delegates that swarmed the stadium for the irresponsible primaries they staged where social distancing rules and health guidelines were flouted. There has been no cogent answer from him thus far.
Instead of providing a factual explanation, he has once again demurred and turned to the overused tactic of invoking faceless groups and names to throw up meaningless distractions. The people are not deceived and they have received the Governor’s advice to remain focused – except that the spotlight is on him and his many failures and questionable actions.