Former Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG), Osagiue Ize-Iyamu who recently came back to the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said there has been the crisis in the party before he came back and no one should be apprehensive of his return
Ize-Iyamu who is a founding member of the party in the state had left for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and contested the 2016 governorship election.
His recent return added to the crisis facing the party in the state. He had to announce his defection at his private residence after the venue for his defection was cordoned off by Police stopping them from hosting the event there.
Speaking with Vanguard in an exclusive interview, the former SSG revealed what necessitated his return to the ruling party.
“We had some disagreements in our congresses and because of that, a lot of those who were close to me felt that they were being targeted and there was a lot of anger. So we left out of anger not because of any other matter even though a lot of attempts were made even by Adams Oshiomhole at the last minute to see how we could resolve our differences but it was already too late because we had committed ourselves to go to the other side so we had to go and we left.
“But that did not mean that the door was shut completely because we still had a lot of friends in the APC who did not like the fact that we were leaving and they kept appealing to us. At the national level, those who knew me were also not happy that we left and there have been consistent appeals that we should come back especially as they knew how passionate we were about good governance and having laboured so hard to put the government in place.”
Speaking on what he intends to bring to the party, Ize-Iyamu pointed out that he is very passionate about anything he do said he intends to add value to the APC and settle their misunderstanding.
“Good enough, we are already in government at all levels but as at today too, there are some crises which had been blown out of proportion and many people even wonder why I should be coming in at a time like this.
“But I asked that, is it only when things are good that one can return home and when things are bad you abandon it? How are you sure God cannot use you to bring peace, to bring unity and stability.
“So, we intend to help settle whatever misunderstanding that exists, we intend to bring in more people into the party, we also need to strengthen the structure of the party to the extent that some of the misunderstanding which we have right now should not happen again in the future.
“If you have people of character, people of depth, people who understand what party structure means, you will discover that some of these issues can be nipped in the bud. I also intend to share my wealth of experience and make them know that in a family, there will be issues but what makes a family to be unique and successful is the ability to deal with issues as they come and we are going to help make the party stronger than it is now.”
Wondering the reason why his return to the party met some resistance, he said he will continue to do his best to reconcile with the aggrived parties.
“So, there is really no reason for the apprehension to reach the level of the kind of reactions that somebody tried to put in place when I was coming in. These apprehensions can be there but they can also be discussed and there can be assurances.
“I have told people that my first preoccupation is to come to the party, integrate fully with all those that I came with and many more that will come later and add value. Any other thing that comes after is okay but I am not coming with a particular mindset of it is either this or it is not that, that is not it. To be honest, the party has survived without me in the past few years and if I drop dead tomorrow, the party will still survive, so I will just do what I can and those who are worried must understand that a political party is not a secret cult where people can be shut out.”
When asked if he is contesting in the 2020 governorship election in the state, he said there is nothing wrong if he wants to.
“There is nothing wrong about it at all but my ambition should not be a threat to anyone. Human beings are ambitious but if the truth must be told before I even came into APC, was there not this problem? So nobody can accuse me that, oh you are coming in to cause crisis, so the crisis has been on and I think the crisis is more because people just believe that once a position is their own, no other person should aspire to go near that position, that is not democracy and anybody of substance that comes into the political space becomes a suspect.
“This is the same thing I have heard it said of Dr Pius Odubu, I have heard it said of General Charles Airhiavbere, I have heard it said of Engr Chris Ogiemwonyi, so I am just a new entrant into those being accused. If we desire to contest, is anything wrong with that? No. To be honest, the more credible people we have who are offering themselves for service, the better for our democracy.
“So for me, I ran for governorship before, and it is only natural for people to believe that I will be interested again and I can tell you that I am consulting, I am watching. If my contesting will destroy the party or bring war, of course, I can decide not to bother in the interest of my party but if at the same time I also believe that I can add value and there is a genuine desire for a competitive process I will offer myself.”
Speaking on the Edo state assembly, Ize-Iyamu believed that Governor Godwin Obaseki did not handle the situation well.
“If you look back now, you will find out that for the past one year all we are hearing about is crisis and crisis. I have not seen any project being commissioned, I have not seen any serious thing being done. At any meeting, all they talk about are the problems that they have. Nobody was elected to begin to lament about problems or to begin to issue threats.
“If your party was able to secure a hundred percent in the House of Assembly, that is something that they should celebrate. Now, it becomes absurd that such a feat will turn to an albatross, to imagine that out of your 24 only a few numbers will now be inaugurated is sad. “