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As the out-going Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, is preparing to hand over the reins of power to his successor, Godwin Obaseki, next month, the Governor has opened up on quite a number of issues.
The outspoken Governor, also explained why the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, John Oyegun, lost his polling unit to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, during the last Edo State Gubernatorial election.
Although, Oyegun was said to have won the votes in the entire ward 2, he lost in unit 1, where he voted. While the APC scored 69 votes, the PDP garnered 78 votes.
Oshiomhole said: “We did not rig the poll; else we would not have allowed our party Chairman to lose his unit… For the fact we allowed the PDP to win Oyegun’s polling unit, is a clear indication that it was not rigged.”
While responding to questions, on if he was not worried that he might fall out with Obaseki in future, as had been the case in some States, where former Governors are at loggerheads with their successors, the Governor said he was not the type that would breathe down the neck of his successor, or worry over being betrayed by Obaseki, when he leaves office next month.
“That is very important, if you say he will disappoint me, I am not the State; I am only one out of about four million Edo people. So his obligation and his loyalty should be to the people of Edo State. The oath of office he is going to subscribe to, says that he will defend the constitution of Nigeria, he will do everything to uplift the quality of life of Edo people. Nothing in his oath of office will include, ‘I shall not betray my predecessor’, because I have no interest to be betrayed.


“For me, I have presided over Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, for eight years, and I had a successor. There was no story of me having conflict with my predecessor, because conflict only arises when you refuse to accept that when your tenure is over, it is over”, he stated.
Oshiomhole, who will be leaving office on November 12, said he has no regrets campaigning vigorously for Obaseki, adding that, he acquired the skills right from his labour days, fighting the oppressors.
 He said: “As for the campaign, and this is the problem, the media picks the negatives from the mouth of those who are the least competent. That I campaigned for him, I was this, I was that. That is the way it should be.
“Look at what is going on in the United States, is Barack Obama not vigorously campaigning for Clinton? Is Obama’s wife, the First Lady of US, not as vigorous, perhaps much more than Bill Clinton? But these are skills I acquire from short floor, which they will never acquire. I am a product of struggle, as a result of my many years of being exploited fighting the oppressors, I deployed those skills and I defeated them. At a point, they said I should allow the man to talk, did the electorate complain?”
Asked what he will want to be remembered for, Oshiomhole said: “I want to be remembered as a factory worker, who worked and laboured as a daily paid worker, in the most subordinates post, in textile mill, rising to become a leader of the Textile Union, and eventually spending eight years as NLC President, then going back home to confront the most feared and vicious godfathers that monopolised Edo State. I fought godfathers, which is essential to make way for liberal democracy.”

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