Salihu Lukman, director-general of the Progressive Governors Forum, says Adams Oshiomhole, former governor of Edo, is spoiling the chances of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state governorship election.
Lukman said Oshiomhole’s antics in Edo has made the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to come out “very strongly all of a sudden” in its campaign for the September 19 election.
He said Oshiomhole, immediate past APC national chairman, has hijacked the party’s campaign in Edo and left Osagie Ize-Iyamu, its governorship candidate, as “an onlooker”.
“As opposed to reconciliation, it is loud drums of war that has taken over the airwaves in Edo State,” Lukman said in a statement on Friday.
“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 APC governors forum DG said the APC is faced with “the problem of diminishing electoral viability,” adding that the party’s credential is only “on account of the personal popularity of President Buhari”.
He wondered who will run the affairs of Edo “when” the party wins the governorship election, with Ize-Iyamu now as “an onlooker”.
“If our party want Edo people to vote for our candidate, Pastor Ize-Iyamu must be very visible and be seen as the face of the campaign,” Lukman said, adding: “Comrade Oshiomhole should take a backseat and play facilitator role our leaders play in all similar circumstances.”