The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, and his major challenger, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Sunday, explained how they swapped political parties for the September 19 governorship election.
Four years ago, Mr Obaseki was the candidate of the APC, while Mr Ize-Iyamu was that of the PDP, but the tide changed in the forthcoming election as they have now swapped parties while vying for the same position.
Speaking during the “EdoGovernorshipDebate” on Channels Television on Sunday, Mr Obaseki said following his disqualification from contesting the APC primary, he had discussions with his political family who gave him the go-ahead to join the PDP.
Mr Obaseki thanked the PDP for giving him the platform to contest the forthcoming governorship election in Edo.
“I think the whole country knew what happened to me in the APC. I was at the party and was disqualified from contesting the governorship primary. I discussed it with my people and we decided on the PDP. I want to thank the party for giving me the umbrella,” Mr Obaseki stated in a one-minute explanation to the question of why he changed party.
Mr Ize-Iyamu conversely responding to the same question said he was a foundation member of the APC but left in 2014 when he was not satisfied with the conduct of the state congress.
The APC governorship candidate said, “I am a foundation member of the APC. I left in 2014 because of a problem that arose in our congress. Thank God I am back and I remain constant with the agenda I have. I am not new in the APC, it is my home.”
In the course of the debate, both candidates disagreed on so many issues including the financial contribution to the Adams Oshiomhole governorship campaign funds in the past.
The moderator of the debate had sought to know why there was recurring decimal of Oshiomhole, for or against, between both candidates.
Mr Obaseki said he was one of those who helped Mr Oshiomhole to become governor in the state by raising funds for the former national chairman of APC, who he said had no money when he (Mr Oshiomhole) left the Nigeria Labour Congress as its president.
“I was one of those who helped Oshiomhole to become governor in the state. When he left the Labour union, he had no money, so, I joined others to raise funds for his campaign. For eight years, I worked pro-bono (work without pay) for him. When I became governor, he felt I should be subservient and that was where the godfather issue started,” he said.
But Mr Ize-Iyamu swiftly reacted when he said from him inquiries, Mr Obaseki only contributed N100,000 to the campaign funds of Oshiomhole.
“I am shocked to hear what Obaseki said. In that fundraising, N10 million was realised and I asked Oshiomhole what was Obaseki’s contribution and he said N100,000,” Mr Ize-Iyamu said.