BBC Debate: Ize-Iyamu Is Arrogant, Intolerant — Obaseki


Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has said that the candidate of the All Progressives Progress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has once again demonstrated that he does not have the right temperament to govern the state.

The Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie,  made this known in a statement issued on Friday night in Benin City, the state capital.

According to him, “The APC candidate displayed a high level of arrogance when he refused to debate with the Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, who was asked to stand in for Governor Godwin Obaseki, during the BBC Pidgin English Debate programme broadcast on Friday night.”

The Governor’s aide explained that “Governor Obaseki started the debate with the other participants, but notified the moderator of the programme that he would not be available for the whole session of the programme, as he needed to urgently attend to an important issue of state.

“One would have expected that the APC candidate who is aspiring to occupy the exalted seat of Governor of Edo State, would accept the honest excuse given by the governor and continue the debate with the deputy governor.

“But he exhibited his arrogance before a global audience and started throwing tantrums, behaviours unbefitting of someone campaigning to be the Governor of a state.”

“Edo people know that Governor Obaseki has tremendous respect for Edo people as he has granted similar interviews on several platforms in the last two months, including those organized by individuals via online platforms,” he added.

There was a mild drama on Friday evening during the debate organised by BBC News Pidgin for governorship candidates in the September 19  Election as Obaseki excused himself and asked his deputy to stand in for him.

The governor asked the moderator and his co-panelists to allow his deputy, Philip Shaibu, to continue the debate in his stead.

“First, I wan’ thank una say una invite me come this programme, make we debate among ourselves, make we fit talk wetin we wan do for the people of Edo State.

“But make I first start by apologising. You see, as I dey now, I no dey Benin. I had to travel on emergency this evening come somewhere. And the meeting dey very important. But abi tell una, so my deputy dey on ground. E no get anything wey I dey do wey im no know.

“So, I say out of respect, make I first do this opening round, I will rush go the meeting, and hopefully my deputy go continue,” Obaseki said.

However, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress, APC objected to the idea, insisting that he would not debate with Shaibu.

Ize-Iyamu noted, “Abeg make I talk small for wetin Governor Obaseki talk. This debate na for governorship candidates, no be wetin den dey delegate. If he no go fit stay, he no go fit stay.

“But say he wan’ comot make im deputy go come dey follow us debate, I no get hand for that one. If he no dey ready, make im no say, he no wan’ debate with us.

“But if he wants to debate, he has to stay but me no go sit down with im deputy. If na deputy own, I go call my deputy make im come talk with im deputy. No be me and im deputy dey debate, na governorship debate.”

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