Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South) is the Director-General of the Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation. Ahead of the Edo State governorship election slated for Wednesday, he speaks on the reasons his party will win the election, allegation that the PDP imported thugs to the state, amongst other issues.
GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole said that the PDP planned to import militants to Edo State from neigbhouring South-South states. How correct is this?
It is a baseless accusation that has no foundation at all. Oshiomhole is known for this kind of false accusations. Such allegations are often what he is planning. He does it to distract people while he perpetrates evil. I want to say that the governors of Rivers or Delta states are not involved in movement of militants into Edo to come and help the PDP. The fear of Oshiomhole and his party is the fact that defeat is staring them in the face ahead of the governorship election on Wednesday. The people are set to pay them back for their misrule in the last eight years. They think that they could continue to deceive Edo people with their singsong of 10 years of PDP and all that. The people were expecting that after crying for so many years, their own eight years would bring succour to them. But they have found out that they are in a worse condition. So, Oshiomhole is just crying wolf for where there is none.
He brought 10 APC governors to their rally of disgrace where he was jumping all over the stage like a celebrated Christmas goat, but does not want PDP governors in the other South-South states to visit Edo State. Has Oshiomhole declared the form of support the APC governors are giving him? We are aware that one of the reasons he ensured the election was postponed was to bring in Muslims, who were celebrating Sallah as of the time of the earlier date, to come and vote in Edo. Edo people are the ultimate deciders of who wins the election and Oshiomhole’s noise cannot save him and his party. The other day, one of Oshiomhole’s Special Adviser said PDP recruited some fake palace chiefs to spread falsehood in the villages. The truth is that such is their stock in trade; that is what they do. No matter the accusation they level against the PDP, defeat will be their lot on Wednesday.
What has changed between now and 2012? Why are you so certain of victory on Wednesday?
Edo people have discovered many of the lies and deceit of Oshiomhole and the APC. For instance, they have discovered that the Federal Government under the PDP contributed 60 per cent of so-called red roof in the public schools. Do you know that Edo public schools are nowhere among the 50 best ranked schools in terms of WAEC examinations? So, what are they flaunting about education? There are no teachers in the schools and no science laboratories. Edo people know that what matters is not the colour of the roofs of the classrooms but the quality of the education. In all, the worthlessness of this government has come to the fore such that the elite and the downtrodden have discovered their lies. That is Oshiomhole’s headache.
Look at a critical area such as agriculture. Edo is nowhere. It is zero for the state in that sector. Edo is not even comparable to riverine states such as Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa. No industry has been established by Oshiomhole’s government in the last eight years. So, there is nothing the APC people can pride themselves on. The funny thing is that the PDP does not even need to inform Edo people about these things anymore, because they could see them with their eyes and feel them. The truth is that, if anyone is on the side of the Edo people, it is natural for such person to support the PDP and its governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to become the next governor of the state.
What are some of his qualities that you rate him so highly?
He has great experience in governance and understands the terrain and challenges of Edo State very well. He is also a politician and party man. He knows who-is-who across the political parties. There is no other person that fits the position of the governor of Edo more than this man. Whatever Charles Idahosa or Adams Oshiomhole has to say is immaterial at this point in time.
What do you make of the reasons adduced for the postponement of the election?
There is no one in Edo who does not know the real people who postponed the election and why they did it. They disregarded many things in choosing the date they fixed for the election because of their selfish agenda. Imagine the money that was wasted the last time by the INEC, the political parties, the Edo people, the media and other stakeholders involved in the election. It was, no doubt, a wicked act. This is a state owing local government workers and they have been making denials all over the place. They are wasting taxpayers’ money by bending the rules of engagement so as to win an election in a foul way. It beats me hollow that people who enjoyed the goodwill of the people and came to power by mistake could do all this. As for INEC, its inconsistencies simply show that it is a supposedly independent body that is being manipulated by the Federal Government. It did not happen during Dr Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. If the PDP had manipulated INEC, APC would not have been in power today. The INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, was arm-twisted to fall in line. They used the security agencies against him.
What could the INEC chairman have done at that point in time?
There was nothing he could have done since they had already informed him that they were not going to provide security. The APC in Edo and in Abuja colluded with security agencies to arm-twist INEC into changing the date. They are like a bull in the China shop; they don’t care about anything. You can imagine a governorship election on a Wednesday. The midweek is supposed to be one of the busiest days in the week. This simply tells you how unmindful and anti-people they are. The APC in Edo and their collaborators should hide their heads in shame. At the end of the day, they will see that God is mightier than them.