Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu, is well known to me. He was the chief scribe of ALPHAX CLUB, a political pressure group formed in the late 80s to launch Chief Lucky Igbinedion into party politics in Edo State. Alphax inaugural meeting was held at St Philomena Hotel in Benin.
I was one of the pioneer members of the club, together with Chief Iweriebor, Hon. West Idahosa, Hon. Victor Ebomwonyi, Mr Dania who became Gov Igbinedion’s Principal Secretary, and others. Alphax saw Igbinedion through the local government elections under Zero Party and he became Oredo Local Government Chairman.
Thus, Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu, was not a pastor at that time, but a mega force when it comes to youth mobilization and political strategy. He stood by Igbinedion until he became the Governor of Edo State. POI became Chief of Staff, COS, and later Secretary to Edo State Government.
Of a truth, POI knows the game of politics from Genesis to Revelation, as far as Edo politics is concerned. He was the major power broker during Igbinedion’s eight years rule in the state.
The power tussle lacuna in PDP after Igbinedion’s tenure, prompted the coded defection of Chief Gabriel Igbinedion Political Family to the All Progressive Congress, APC, and POI and his key strategists were drafted to work with Comrade Adams Oshiomole, with the unwritten agreement that POI will succeed him as APC governor after his tenure.
The deal went well until oshiomole backed out, and settled for his Chief Economic Adviser, Godwin Obaseki; a renowned Investment Consultant and Stock Broker. The bond between Oshiomole and Obaseki, grew to the extent that Osho Baba danced like a school boy during campaigns to ensure that Obaseki became the governor of Edo State.
Done and dusted, Obaseki was sworn in as governor and Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu, lost the ambition of becoming governor after Oshiomole. Before we could say JACK, Gov Obaseki and his political godfather, Oshiomole went to the political and leadership market place to trade tackles. They became cat and dog till date, battling for superiority.
The latest strategy has been unveiled and Oshiomole is ready to teach Obaseki a bitter political lesson. Remember that “You can not steal from the godfather and live to enjoy it.” Oshiomole is ready to take his “pound of flesh” from Obaseki. The battle shall be tensed and who shall be the looser?
Which politician in Edo State, has the steam and grassroot sagacity to tame Obaseki? Look no further, Pastor Ize Iyamu, comes to mind. There is no permanent friend in politics, only permanent interest. Oshiomole and POI may have worked out a coded plan to unseat Obaseki. Time shall tell.
The exit of POI from Edo PDP is a big and painful political misfortune which may have a spillover effect on Delta PDP, for the fact that during the last governorship election in Edo State, Delta gave Edo PDP the necessary brotherly support. It is a fact that before now, Delta governor shared robust relationship with POI and other leaders of Edo PDP.
POI being a valued electioneering strategist may play a major role to cause problems for Delta in 2023, if he eventually becomes APC governor in 2020. How do we deal with this scenario staring us at the face? Delta neighbours are APC states and APGA. again, I ask; Which way Delta 2023?
The last time I had phone conversation with POI was during the last PDP presidential convention in Port Harcourt. He called to share some political views. I placed a call yesterday and today but his lines were inactive. I learnt one of his key supporters, a pastor, gave up the ghost at his country home yesterday. I am yet to confirm details.
My take is that POI might be the next APC governorship candidate in Edo State and subsequently the next governor. His late father was a powerful Bini Chief, and was incharge of all the Witches and Wizards in Benin Kingdom. This may have prompted POI to serve Jesus Christ, as a paradym shift from his late father’s spiritual antecedents.
One thing is clear, Edo people and the traditional institution will always throw their weight behind POI, the KPELEBE. You can’t take it from him. He remains one of the most valued political son of the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, the patriach of the Igbinedion dynasty and founder, Igbinedion University, Okada.
It is also a take home fact that Chief Lucky Igbinedion and POI cannot be separated when it comes to life issues and politics. They share watertight, soul to soul relationship. Their political achievements are interwoven and will last a life time. The LIMA BRAVO connections will favour POI.
Therefore, if the Royal Palace in Edo endurses POI for the sake of his late father, an Edo traditional and spiritual icon, then Gov Obaseki shall become history during the APC gubernatorial primaries. Oshiomole will do everything and anything to ensure that OSHIOMOLE-POI political hurricane wipes out the controversial political antecedents of the incumbent governor of Edo State. Obaseki is a technocrat, not a politician. Politics is POI and POI is politics. Yes, indeed.
Here in Delta State, we shall keep our fingers crossed and watch the scheming and coded alliances. The signs are deceitful and it will not be long to stitch the patches together for a clear picture in the political radar.
We trust Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, the Ekwueme Gburugburu. He shall deliver Delta PDP come 2023.
Stronger Delta, Let’s Build Together.