The lawmaker representing Oredo East Constituency in the Edo State House of Assembly, Chris Okaeben, has defended his allegation of threat to his life made yesterday against the governor, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki who he also accused of playing politics of gossips. Okaeben at a press conference, this Thursday, upbraided the governor for his perceived act of disloyalty to his predecessor, and national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole. He said Obaseki owed Oshiomhole absolute loyalty as a product of the former governor’s political family.
With Okaeben’s outburst yesterday, what appeared to be a cold war between the governor and his political benefactor, may have become an open declaration of war between both camps. The lawmaker said he was being targeted because he advised the duo to ‘jaw-jaw’ instead of ‘war war. According to him, he had complained to the national leadership of the APC about the threat to his life because he knew the Edo State leadership had been compromised, adding that the reason he was stopped from contesting for a seat in the National Assembly was because of his allegiance to Oshiomhole.
While alleging that “anybody loyal to Oshiomhole cannot benefit from the goodwill of this administration” Okaeben stated defiantly that “I have no regret owing allegiance to Oshiomhole. Obaseki should do away with political gossips”. In his words, “what is happening now is a political distraction. Some persons have set up a vault to launch a second-term campaign for Obaseki. The only way they can make money is to tell him to stay away from Oshiomhole so that they can make more money to buy property in Dubai. It is not all those who sing his hallelujah that are his friends. We once had Lucky Igbinedion as the leader in this state. It was those he empowered that stoned him with sachet water when he was leaving. I have text messages he (Obaseki) forwarded to me in pretence that he received the texts from someone that I was in Abuja for a long period of time persuading the national leadership of the APC to give the second term ticket to someone else and therefore he wants to put me on notice that he is aware of my mission”.
According to him, “that is enough evidence for me to tell the entire world that if I receive such message from the Governor, then he is aware of every step I make all the way and therefore, he is planning for me. I was not in Abuja. The National Chairman was not in Abuja. I do not know where he got the information from. I am begging Journalists to help save my life.”
But reacting to Okaeben’s allegation, Obaseki described them as cheap blackmail adding that there was no problem between himself and Oshiomhole. Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, the governor wondered why he would single out Okaeben for persecution out of 24 lawmakers. “Obaseki is closer to the National Chairman of the APC than Okaeben. So why will he persecute Okaeben for working for Oshiomhole’s interest? Okaeben should get a grip of his emotions and focus on working for his constituents”, Osagie stated