By Henry Osagie
When René Lodge Brabazon Raymond, aka, James Hadley Chase, one of the best known thriller writers of all time wrote in 1965 one of his best thrillers ‘THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLES’, he must have had Adams Oshiomhole, Osagie Ize-Iyamu and the APC in mind.
Barely two weeks into the start of their campaign and before their official flagoff, the campaign organization of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has become akin to ‘Fuji House of Commotion’. What is the cause of the commotion, you might ask? Sharing of offices even before the elections are held.
A reliable source in the campaign outfit of Ize-Iyamu told me that the power sharing exercise has pitched Osagie Ize-Iyamu against EPM members led by Oshiomhole on one hand as well as between Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his close associates on the other hand.
The source said Oshiomhole and his EPM followers are irked by the sharing formula proposed by Ize-Iyamu because it was heavily tilted to favour those who crossed over with him from PDP to APC. According to him, a recent meeting held in the Benin residence of Oshiomhole to resolve the issue ended in chaos as tempers rose leading to shouting and abuses.
However, Oshiomhole was said to have advised both camps to defer the issue till the end of the campaign so as not to derail it.
The portfolios of Secretary to State Government and Chief of Staff are said to be the most contentious. For the position of Secretary to State Government, Oshiomhole is said to have proposed Henry Idahagbon while Ize-Iyamu prefers Samson Osagie. A third proposal was said to have been brought by Capt Hosa Okunbor who prefers his loyalist, Osaro Obaze for the position.
For the office of Chief of Staff, Oshiomhole was said to favour Patrick Obahiagbon, aka, Igodomigodo, the same position he held during Oshiomhole’s second tenure while Ize-Iyamu argued strenuously in support of Jarrett Tenebe.
Another position which was said to have generated heated argument is the position of Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice. While Capt. Hosa is said to prefer Professor Edoba Omoregie, Ize-Iyamu is said to be more favourably disposed to Barr. Dan Ogbegie. However, Roland Otaru, SAN, one of the Counsels to Ize-Iyamu in his 2016 petition who is said to have been eyeing the position is lucking in the shadows.
For the Ministry of Women Affairs, the race is said to be between Tinyan Otuomagie and Bisi Idaomi. While Ize-Iyamu is said to insist on Tinyan Otuomagie for the position, Oshiomhole prefers Bisi Idaomi.
Osagie Ize-Iyamu is also said to have promised over fifteen of his supporters Commissionership positions while three of them were at various times assured of Edo South Senatorial seats. Barr. West Idahosa and Osaretin Edosomwan have at different times been assured of the Senatorial seat.
The case of Tony Kabaka Adun, the leader of the Lions and Tigers is an interesting one. In 2012, Tony Kabaka according to my sources nominated about 35 Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants in Oshiomhole’s second tenure. He was to be given the position of Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works like Major Oloye was appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment but for the intervention of some the party leaders. This time around, he is demanding for the position of Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport in addition to being allowed to nominate not less than 40 SSAs and SAs as well as a Special Adviser. His argument is that if Major Oloye could be appointed PS by Adams Oshiomhole, why can he not also be appointed. Ize-Iyamu is said to have tentatively agreed to Kabaka’s demands on the condition that he uses his ‘tigers and lions effectively well on September 19.
However, Oshiomhole and Capi are said not to be too comfortable with Kabaka’s demands especially that of Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport.
Since 2003, Osakpamwan Eriyo has been eyeing the position of Chairman, Protection of Government Properties. In 2003, during Lucky Igbinedion’s second tenure, he lost the position to Godwin Oboh, aka, Alhaji. This time around, he has again renewed his interest in that position. However, he has Rotimi Ehigiamusoe, aka, Shaba to contend with. Pastor is said have promised both of them at different times. Oshiomhole on his part has nominated Francis Inegbeneki for that position.
Ize-Iyamu is said to have perfected plans to reintroduce the contracting of collection of revenue, popularly called ‘cutting of tickets’, in motor parks and markets. Etinosa Ogbeiwi and Sonny Ogbewe are to handle the collection. How ever, Capt Hosa is more in support of Chris Okaeben, the elected Oredo West House of Assemby member that refused to be sworn in.
In all of these power sharings, Pius Odubu, former Deputy Governor to Oshiomhole and a contestant in the last APC sham Governorship Primary Elections, Chris Ogiemwonyi, who was disqualified by the APC Screening Committee and Charles Airhiavbere are being left out. Supporters of the three APC leaders are said to be kicking seriously and threatening to sabotage the party in favour of Godwin Obaseki if the situation is not rectified before the election.