Ben Peters, Abuja
A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Mr. John Mayaki, has berated the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission to remove its Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State over alleged partisanship.
Atiku had accused Lagos REC, Olusegun Agbaje, of using the Lagos State Park and Garage Management Committee, headed by Musiliu Akinsanya, aka MC Oluomo, to distribute election materials in the state.
But in a reaction, Mayaki who is the Chairman of the Edo State Media and Publicity Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), said, “I am aware that (INEC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) to ease logistics on the lifting of election materials and staff during the general elections – the PDP is equally aware of this development.
“What then does Atiku want – for INEC to exempt Lagos State NURTW from the MoU because it doesn’t favour him and his party but on the other hand, retain states where he has his cronies handling the process such as Edo State, where Chief Odion Olaye, Governor Godwin Obaseki’s “chief thug,” holds sway as both state NLC chairman and NURTW chairman.
“The PDP and it’s presidential candidate should stop being hypocritical because in Edo State, for instance, a close ally of Governor Godwin Obaseki and state chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers, Chief Odion Olaye is the one handling the same task for which Atiku is asking for the head of Lagos REC.
“it is on record that Chief Odion Olaye is a politician from Egor Local Government Area of Edo State and a card-carrying member of the PDP. The presidential candidate of the PDP, Alh. Atiku Abubakar and Governor Godwin Obaseki are quite aware of this fact and nobody has raised any objection but being hypocrites, they immediately pointed accusing fingers at Lagos REC and demanded for his sack – this is quite curious and irrational.
“To prove the partisanship of Odion Olaye, I recall watching a video of an attack on the office of former Attorney General of Edo State and chieftain of the APC, Barrister Henry Idahiagbon, in January 2020, where it was alleged that Odion Olaye led thugs with the support of security operatives from Government House to prosecute that assignment.
“Odion Olaye, who’s barely educated, is a ‘renowned’ thug in Benin City. At some point, he secured the support of the state government to emerge the NLC Chairman of Edo State Council. Besides, during the recently conducted National delegate election of the PDP in May 2022, Odion Olaye emerged as National Delegate of his party in Egor Local Government Area. He polled one hundred and forty-five votes to defeat Pa. Thompson Osaghaede, who got twelve votes during the election at the Police Training School auditorium, Ogida Police Station. Atiku wants Odion Olaye for the job because he’s PDP but Mr. Musiliu Akinsanya should be disqualified.
“Atiku’s hypocrisy is truly astonishing just as Governor Godwin Obaseki is notorious at it – this is made obvious since the commencement of the campaigns – the PDP have shown that they have no shortage of examples of two-facedness.
“The recent Naira redesign of the CBN also revealed the vacuousness of Edo State Governor being a master of double-speak. In November last year, Governor Obaseki said, ‘Now they say that they want to change the naira. We can’t buy dollars. I am an economist. I can tell you that this policy by the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria has no basis. There is no basis for it – this is purely political. When you decide to change a currency in such a reckless manner – 30 days before an election, all you can deduce is that it is purely political. There is nothing urgent in changing our currency today. They should leave our currency for us’, Governor Godwin Obaseki had lamented.
“But the master of double-speak made a volts-face last week saying, ‘Having discussed extensively with the CBN and the bankers that the policy of moving the Nigeria economy to one of a cashless system should be encouraged. It is the best thing for our banking system so the Edo state government has no problem with the policy of the federal government to move our economy to a cashless one’, Obaseki recounted.
“We need to remind the PDP, Atiku and Godwin Obaseki that people hate hypocrites not only because there are elements of inconsistencies in their beliefs and actions but also due to the fact that their moral proclamations imply—falsely—that they are more virtuous than they really are – hypocrites.
“This is a reflection of what the PDP and its candidate represent. For these obvious reasons and for being irrational, I therefore call on INEC to dismiss their call for the removal of Lagos REC and urge Nigerians to punish them on the 25th, so as to perpetually retire their perennial presidential candidate”.