A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State, Sunny Aguebor, in an interview said that Governor Nyesom Wike should stop meddling into the affairs of the party in Edo State
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State apologised to former national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole and described Governor Godwin Obaseki as an ungrateful. How would you react to that?
Instead of apologising to Adams Oshiomhole, he should first of all apologise to his former boss Rotimi Amaechi who he betrayed because of his governorship ambition in 2015. He was one of those who created the friction in the relationship between Amaechi and Mrs Patience Jonathan. Did Wike become governor from local politics? Was it not Amaechi that picked him up from the local government and made him his chief of staff? He should also apologise to the Jonathans who made it possible for him to emerge as governor in 2015, who as of today, he hardly relates with, because of his much touted presidential ambition. The records are there. What does Governor Wike mean by Obaseki is being ungrateful? Did the governor not pay him and other PDP governors a thank-you visit after the Edo 2020 governorship election?
So, because he supported the governor in the Edo 2020 governorship election, the entire party structure in Edo PDP should be given to him in aid of his presidential ambition? That is not how we play politics, except we want to continue to deceive ourselves. Edo State cannot be procured by any external force, not even 10 of Wike’s type can procure our state, albeit through the connivance of traitors within. I am glad that Governor Wike by his recent utterances exposed himself as the external factor behind the crisis in Edo PDP. It is very unfortunate!
Former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, predicted that Obaseki will turn against Wike and others who made him (Obaseki) become the governor for a second term. Are you not worried that this prediction may have come to pass?
Former Governor Fayose was not with us in the build-up to the Edo 2020 governorship election and so we are not bothered by whatever prophecy he made then. How come he didn’t foresee the defeat by the APC of his preferred candidate in the Ekiti governorship election four years ago? Besides what agreement are they talking about? They should come out clean and stop speaking in parables. Like Fayose who after leaving office went underground, politically, his friend Wike will follow suit after May 29 next year.
Don’t you think the Rivers State governor deserves some respect after helping Obaseki to win the governorship election in 2020?
As the popular saying goes, respect is reciprocal. This whole controversy did not start with Governor Wike’s unkind response to the harmless speech of Philip Shaibu, our deputy governor. This controversy started when the governor and his supporters were about joining the PDP. It was not only Governor Wike that was instrumental to Obaseki’s political breakthrough in the Edo 2020 governorship poll, but PDP governors and leaders like former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar. A tree can never make a forest. We remain grateful to all PDP leaders, including Governor Wike for supporting us then.
How can the disagreement between the two governors be resolved?
I think for the disagreement to be a thing of the past, the national leadership of the PDP must intervene in the crisis in our state chapter, as that is where this whole issue started from. Also, Governor Wike should be advised to stop meddling in the affairs of the PDP in Edo State, to the extent that he referred to the governor of Edo State as a tenant in the PDP. That statement is very irresponsible, especially when it is coming from a PDP governor. Wike has every right to support Dan Orbih and co with Rivers State money, but that should not make him directly interfere with how the party is run in Edo State. The leader of the party in Edo State according to the PDP Constitution is Governor Godwin Obaseki. Edo State is not Rivers State, or even Cross River State. I say Cross River State, because it was this same Governor of Rivers that made Governor Ben Ayade to leave the PDP. So, for this disagreement to be nipped in the bud, Governor Wike must be urgently cautioned by the PDP national leadership.
Are you saying Governor Obaseki was right to have called on the national leadership of the PDP to tell Wike to stop what he (Obaseki) described as unguarded and disruptive tendencies?
Yes, Obaseki was right to have invited the national chairman of the PDP to call Wike to order. If the PDP had a president in Aso Rock, that would have been the person to refer him to. But in the absence of a sitting president, the leader of the party at the centre is our national chairman.
Obaseki said Edo would not accept political bullies and overlords. Has Wike displayed any of these traits in the Edo PDP saga?
Wike has not only acted as a bully, but more visibly, he comes across as a typical busy body. He said he wanted to commission a school project, but he turned it into a press conference to insult the governor and the people of Edo State throughout the event. He began with the lie of the century. He said Prof Jerry Gana has never defected from the PDP since inception of the party just to spite Obaseki and Shaibu. But the truth is that in 2018, Professor Jerry Gana defected from the PDP and joined the SDP in order to contest in the party’s presidential primaries. It was only recently Jerry Gana returned back to the PDP. So, Governor Wike lied. If l now say that lying is in his DNA, he will say he is being insulted. The truth does not have versions only falsehood has versions. But, it is what it is.
Obaseki also said Wike should not pursue his (Wike) presidential ambition in a disruptive manner. Many may think that the Edo State governor was overreacting to the matter on the ground. What is your take on this?
I heard Wike has been trying to get PDP Governors of southern extraction to support his presidential ambition. Edo is one of the states where he has met a brick wall, as our governor has refused to be a pawn in his ambitious political chess board. The reaction to that is what you are seeing in his attacks on the likes of Raymond Dokpesi, a PDP Board of Trustees member from Edo State, the deputy governor and the governor of Edo State. Is that not a disruptive behaviour?