Former Governor of Edo State and National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said that his successor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, was the one who worked hard to make him governor.
According to Oshiomhole, “Governor Obaseki deployed his wide contacts in the business community and mobilised his friends to raise the seed money with which I commenced my campaign for the 2007 governorship election in Edo State.”
He added that Obaseki’s backing put him in a good stead to kick-start his campaign against the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who had the support of the then PDP-led federal government and the thousands of deep pocket-politicians in the PDP as at the time.
The APC National Chairman, also said that the current Edo State Governor, did not stop at raising the needed fund for his campaigns.
“Obaseki also drew up a development plan for me. The detailed plan covered all the sectors of the state and I was delighted at the thrust of the document and that was the reason I pleaded with him to come to Benin and assist my administration in realising the plan,” Oshiomhole said.
The former governor’s insights into the enormous support that Obaseki extended to him when he (Oshiomhole) had no money, have been corroborated by former Political Adviser to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Mr. Charles Idahosa.
According to Idahosa, Oshiomhole had no dime when he came to Benin to contest governorship poll under the Labour Party (LP).
“Oshiomhole is ungrateful. They are portraying Godwin Obaseki as an ungrateful person, which is very strange; but unfortunately, a lot of people do not have information about what is going on, so I need to throw light on that.
“Oshiomhole is an ungrateful person personified. Now, let me give you a situation. When you start a story from the middle, it is not a proper story. I am aware that Obaseki went to Eghosa Anglican Grammar School, where I knew him as a school boy. I cannot remember him telling me the story that he went to a tailoring institution where he met an Adams Oshiomhole. But I do know they met before Oshiomhole became governor.
“And I have it on proper record that Chief Elama Oseni made the meeting between Obaseki and Oshiomhole possible. He took Oshiomhole to Obaseki, this was before the governorship election in 2007.
“It was Obaseki that brought other people to do a launching, that was the seed money, hundreds of millions of naira that Obaseki raised for Oshiomhole to come to Benin and pursue his governorship ambition, incidentally against me because I ran that ticket with him.
“And I challenged Obaseki then and I said: “you knew your senior was in this race, why were you supporting an outsider?” He just laughed and we left together.
“So, it hurts me when people say Oshiomhole helped him. Who helped each other first? It was Obaseki that raised all the money for Oshiomhole.
“Captain Hosa Okunbo and Tunde Ayeni were the people that packaged the whole thing together. He (Oshiomhole) had no dime when he was coming to Benin to run for election.
“I was already living in my house when Oshiomhole went to rent a place in Aziz Garuba’s place by Benoni Hospital. That is how he came to town.
“So the story that Oshiomhole made Obaseki is not correct. It was Obaseki that made him and raised money for him, then the Igbinedions moved in. Chief Lucky Igbinedion, his father, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, later gathered another set of people who also raised money for him and that is how he started, including Irabor who was in charge of Maritime.
“Tell me out of all these people, who is Oshiomhole’s friend today? Tell me who, out of all these people that Oshiomhole has shown gratitude to. So this story that he made Obaseki is not true, Obaseki made him.
“Obaseki gave him a blueprint on how he will run Edo State. He could not understand the blueprint; he pleaded with Obaseki to come and be the chairman of his economic team so that Obaseki can run the state. That is how Godwin Obaseki agreed to come to Benin.
“He worked for eight years as chairman of the economic team without collecting anything. I stand here to be challenged. He did not receive a kobo for allowance for eight years; he did it for free.”