Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the upcoming governorship election in Edo State says Adams Oshiomhole, erstwhile national chairman of the party, is not his godfather as being potrayed in some quarters.
Mr Ize-Iyamu, who stated this today while featuring on Arise Television programme, also said the former Edo governor works for him.
Mr Oshiomhole is backing the APC candidate to take power from Godwin Obaseki, incumbent governor of the state who is seeking re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He is often referred to as the godfather of Ize-Iyamu whom he had earlier described as a political thug good for midnight meetings but unworthy of handling public funds. Oshiomhole made the above remark while marketing Mr Obaseki in 2016 to succeed him in office.
Messrs Oshiomhole and Obaseki, two years after, became political rivals, prompting the former to ensure the latter is denied re-election on the platform of the APC.
Explaining his relationship with the former governor, Ize-Iyamu, said he stepped down for Oshiomhole to become governor in 2007 because where the erstwhile APC helmsman hails from has not produced governor since the creation of the state.
“In 2007, so that he can become governor… my people were urging me to become governor but I stepped down for him because his area has never had a governor, he comes from Edo north,” Ize-Iyamu said.
“Where I come from, Edo southwest has had a governor. I just thought that well, for equity to prevail, it will be nice to make history. Of course, he has done so well as chairman of APC and I just said well, you know it’s good.
“So for somebody like me to now describe him as a godfather or say Oshiomhole is my god father… on what basis?. We have had history of robust engagement, we have disagreed and come back together, so what you see is mutual respect.
“Yes, you can say he brought Obaseki but Obaseki was new, you can’t compare him to me. I was national vice chairman of ACN; I was one of those who crafted the constitution of the APC. He did not live here even though he was born here, he came from Lagos, so he needed a godfather, he needed someone to nurture him and bring him up.
“But for me, you are talking of an adult, there are so many people I have nurtured. All over the state, they see me as a leader.
“But I have tremendous respect for my elders. I respect those who have excelled in various professions, even my juniors and the reality is that I was born to respect people and I will not disrespect anybody because I am governor. So when you say godfather, just take it out.
“Oshiomhole is working for me , he is campaigning with me because he is also passionate about his party winning Edo and you can’t take that away from him,” he added.