Being a press statement by Rev Olu Martins on the recent political development in Edo state.
For some 48 hours now, my phone has been inundated with calls and texts of my purported endorsement of the APC candidate Pst Osagie Ize-iyamu. Unfortunately I suffered a double jeopardy of loosing my Android phone and a failing health hence I couldn’t respond to all the lies immediately. Now that i have recovered both yesterday evening I thought to come straight with the facts before this lie wears the toga of the truth.
1) There was never a time I endorsed the candidate of Osagie Ize-iyamu nor joined his campaigns as you can’t find any video of text of me doing same anywhere. Can you endorse someone without saying you did in a formal outing.
2) Pastor Ize-iyamu is my very very food friend and that of my family whom I respect and relate with freely and regularly. He has played a pivotal role in my life and continues to. He was instrumental to my marrying my wife being key to our meeting and mobilising support to the success of same. Not many know that my in-laws are even closer to Ize-iyamu having known him for over 25years. I met Ize-iyamu in 2000 when I was Student’s Union President in Ekpoma and I we have remained close since then.
3) I visited Ize-iyamu (as I normally will being a friend that politics won’t separate) on Sunday 23rd August to have a private chat with him where I met some of my friends on the APC/Poi divide. We laughed and joked together as the pics they posted shows. I am an activist and not a party person and I can associate freely. That association shouldn’t be tagged endorsement or dumping Obaseki when that is not what I came to do. Moreover since it was indoors in my “elder brother’s” house I saw no harm until I saw the pictures and the caption that followed.
4) Let me state that wearing a Poi cap can’t be equated with an endorsement and it doesn’t. My relationship with ize-iyamu is long and deep as i am usually free at his place. I don’t have any issue with him save that I have my preference politically speaking in this election for Godwin Obaseki. I have been a staunch supporter of Gov Obaseki and committed canvasser of his reelection bid having appeared on several media stations both local, national and even internationally the recent being a massive rally where I was like the spokesperson.
5) I have always been a direct person as I have never been known to probate and reprobate at the same time. When I support you, I do so till the end without wavering. I supported Poi in 2016 and stayed with him till supreme court verdict. I intend to do the same with Godwin Obaseki come rain come shine until he wins his reelection bid by Sept 19th this year. I don’t betray trust and friends. I have always been steadfast to struggles since my university days and that isn’t going to change any time soon. How can I now see myself working with people I have had issues with and criticized heavily for almost a decade now. God forbid.
6) On August 24th I was invited to a meeting of pastors which turned out to be an endorsement for Poi. My presence there was purely spiritual with ministry intentions only. I wasn’t part of those who signed the communiqué as my role was spiritual and non aligned.
7) If really were to endorse Poi would it be informally in the midst of friends jesting and laughing? Wouldn’t I rather hold a press conference, a rally or an outing with my team as I have often done for Poi in the past? The pictures posted didn’t have me standing with Poi himself a scenario that may have been more believable? A person of my stature and status clearly should know better how to endorse in grand style even if I wanted to.
8) The allegation financial inducement is as ludricous and dumb. N680k advancement for an agreed sum of 5m. Can you imagine that nonsense talk? What is N5m and what is N680k. I have direct access to His Excellency the Governor so if I need 5m I can ask him directly. I have had several one on one with Governor Obaseki. I have many friends in government including Phillip shaibu the deputy Governor who we were in the student’s movement together as far back as 1999. If i was really money conscious I would have long sold out and comprised when oshiomole was Governor. He made several overtures to me which I turned down. Only a foolish man will leave a performing governor who he has direct access to and who has been good to him to a side that is uncertain and packed full already. I am not anywhere near broke and even if I was, no single individual is richer than government anyway.
9) A good name Bible says is better than silver, gold or even being deputy Governor to Poi suppose that was even possible. I can’t come this far and look back when I am not Lot’s wife. I apologize if my associations in the past few days may gave suggested something contrary to what I have always believed and stood for but I remain on the side of Godwin Obaseki. I am convinced that he means well for the Edo people and has done well for them. He therefore deserves our overwhelming support in his bid to rid Edo state of godfathers, careers politicians and lions and tigers whose major and only preoccupation is our common patrimony.
10) Finally let me state again that I am unrepentant Obasekist. I didn’t, can’t and won’t endorse Poi nor any other candidate other than Godwin Obaseki. Pastor Osagie Ize-iyamu is my friends and I will continue to respect and admire him. I wish him in his pursuit to be Governor of Edo state but my candidate for the September 19th election is Godwin Obaseki and by the Grace of God God will always win. The lovers of democracy and haters of godfatherism will win standing side by side Godwin Obaseki.
I thank everyone who showed concern. I thank everyone who continued to update me of happenings on social media while I lost my phone and was trying to get another one. I thank those who didn’t believe the false information and tried to defend me. I also thank those who criticized positively and those who outrightly insulted me. Hopefully after today you will apologize but even if you don’t I hold no grudges. Maybe I deserved the insults self for my carelessness. Nigeria politics is very rough and personal. Government is too big hence everyone who has access doesn’t want to Loose and those who want acres can kill for it. Anyway like warri will say “All join””.
Rev Olu Martins
Lead pastor, Hillcity
Canvassers for Democracy and Rule of law.