Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, says his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, and All Progressives Congress stalwart, Bola Tinubu, pose danger to democracy in Nigeria.
The governor said this during an interview on Arise TV on Tuesday.
Obaseki noted that Tinubu and Oshiomhole had no position in any party or any constitutionally- recognised public office and yet they go about trying to control those who have the backing of the law.
He said such people pose a threat to democracy.
The governor added, “For us, the challenge with people like Oshiomhole and Ahmed Tinubu is that they change their style and attitude, they pose a big danger to our democracy because they are extra-constitutional players.
“They have constituted themselves into what they say they are without any constitutional responsibility and trying to overlord themselves over people who have constitutional authority and if we allow them to continue in the mould they are, it will destroy our democracy and for me, it is straightforward.
“It is not about personal issues but about their role in our democracy. You cannot have people who are elected and guided by the constitution in office and people who don’t have such mandate or authority or any checks on their conduct to come and say they want to control people who have been properly constituted in office.”
When asked to explain further, Obaseki noted that Tinubu claims to be the national leader of the APC even though the party’s constitution has no such position.
He said when people like Tinubu help others to get into public office, they still do not allow them to function properly, thereby endangering democracy.
The governor said, “They are non-constitutional actors. There is no role; the role of leader. There is nothing in the constitution of our country or the constitution of that party giving the role of leader. The title leader has no role, no constitutional backing.
“I think titles should be earned out of respect, out of consideration of fact that they have been useful but it does not give them any constitutional role. They cannot sit in the comforts of their houses or wherever and determine who gets into what office and even when those people get into office, how they should conduct themselves. It is very anti-democratic.”
Obaseki warned Oshiomhole to conduct himself in a civilised manner or face the wrath of the law.
He said he would not allow people like Oshiomhole to continue to fund tigers and lions that will threaten security in Edo State.
The governor added, “I have no plans (to chase Oshiomhole out) but if he continues to behave the way he has done. If he continues to be destructive, if he continues to fund his lions and tigers in Edo State and if he tries to create problems for us here, then we will not have any mercy. So, it is totally up to him.”
Obaseki stated that it was not impossible for him to forgive Oshiomhole but added that the former governor must earn his trust again.
He said he had nothing against business tycoon, Captain Hosa Okunbor, who worked against his re-election.
When asked if he would return to the APC having proved his point by winning election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, Obaseki said it would be wrong to do so.
Obaseki stated, “At this point in time, I have been elected on the platform of a party and I have made promises to the people of Edo State. It is not about me. I won the election on the platform of the PDP and I think it will be immoral and unfair to have any consideration about leaving a platform that gave me the mandate.
“There must be morals in politics. At this point in time, I don’t think it is right to jettison the platform that brought me into power particularly when I have no issues with the party.”
Tinubu had in a viral broadcast last Tuesday called on the people of Edo State to reject Obaseki at the polls.
The former governor and Oshiomhole have yet to speak since their preferred candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, lost the election.