Gentlemen of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I welcome you to the press conference and I thank you for coming despite the short notice.
I address this press conference today with pains in my heart and sorrow in my soul. The pains and sorrows stem from the fact that there is an acceptable standard of human conduct in any society. When there is a departure from such established acceptable standard of human conduct from a highly placed and privileged person who should ordinary be the custodian of the acceptable standard, then the society loses its moral values.
Few days ago, I was inundated with numerous telephone calls from so many of my family members, friends and political associates drawing my attention to a newspaper publication precisely the Vanguard newspaper publication of Sunday April 34, 2016 at pages 8 and 9 titled “Alleged Assassination Plot: Oshiomhole, Deputy Trade Claims”. In the said publication, it was reported inter alla:
“….above all, Governor directed his Attorney General. Mr. Henry Idahagbon, and Washington Osa-Osifo to write a petition against him (Rt. Hon. Pius Odubu) to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with a view to impeaching him….
I hereby state with all emphasis that this statement is a deliberate falsehood, ruse and a calculated attempt to smear my reputation and integrity which I have painstakingly built over the years. I will resist such attempt even with my last breath.
In as much I will not ordinary want to join issues with the person of Rt. Hon. Pius Odubu being the Deputy Governor of our dear state and a respected leader of our party in Edo South Senatorial District, I am constrained by reason to protect my public image, reputation and integrity. To do otherwise is to bring about eroding of public confidence in my person, as well as give tactic support and approval for deliberate falsehood all in the name of “Politics” to continue to thrive.
Moreso, arising from the facts that when the Deputy Governor tried to debunk the alegations in the said newspaper publications in a statement issued by his chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kelly Odaro, he only addressed the aspects of the publication that have to do with the issue of Native Doctors or Witch Doctors being hired to kill the Governor. He deliberately failed to debunk the allegations made against my person regarding my alleged EFCC petition letter and impeachment plot against the Deputy Governor.
It is pertinent at this junction to tell the general public that sometimes in March 2016, I was informed by my former commissioner in the state that at a meeting he attended with the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Pius Odubu and other political associates of the Deputy Governor, it was said that i wrote a petition against the Deputy Governor to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) I was shocked as there is no iota of truth in the accusation leveled against me. I then told him that I was going see the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Pius Odubu on the issue.
I met the Deputy Governor the next dat at the EXCO Chambers before the commencement of our state Executive Council meeting and I told him what I heard with respect to the allegation against me that I wrote a petition against him to the Economic and Financial Crimes commissions (EFCC) I requested to know why he did not even call me or ask me as his son”. He replied that he did not believe the allegation and so he did not bother to draw my attention to it. He told me that I should not bother myself with such allegation, which he knows is not true and from his knowledge about me, I cannot condescend so low to engage myself in writing false and frivolous petitions. I then thought that the matter at that point had been finally laid to rest. This discussion was in the presence of some other Exco members who were concerned also.
I was embarrassed to hear about a month and a week later that the Deputy Governor at the peace and reconciliation meeting between the Comrade Governor, himself and some leaders of our party in the state, he stated that I wrote a petition against him to EFCC.
Despite the provocation, I still restrained myself from joining issues with him publicly because of my respect for his person and position as the Deputy Governor of our great state, as well as in the interest of our great party, All Progressive Congress (APC).
Now that this deliberate falsehood against my person has gone viral having been reported in many national dailies and social media, a duty is naturally imposed on me to set the record straight, especially against the backdrop of the report in Sunday Vanguard Newspaper of April 24, 2016 that it was the Governor who directed the Attorney General, Mr. Henry Idahagbon and my humble self to write a petition against the Deputy Governor to EFCC with a view to impeaching him.
Let me place on record that as a true African Child, I grew up in a home where discipline and moral values were taught and I imbibed them. I was taught to accord respect to all persons.
I was taught not only to seek and know the truth but to uphold truth at all times and never to compromise it no matter the circumstances. All the good moral values inherited in our culture were inculcated in me by my parents. I grew up in a proper African setting where lying is a taboo.
Those moral values inculcated in mere further reinforced and accentuated by my religious belief as a Christian of the Catholic Faith.
Over the years, I have exhibited those moral values at all timed and all those who have had dealings with me can eloquently attest to this fact. Even in the political arena where to some persons the end justifies the means, I have kept my reputation nor allow it being smeared by anybody no matter how high placed he may be.
If I may ask, of what benefit will it be if the Deputy Governor is impeached? Are we from the same local Government area to suggest that I will benefit from such impeachment? Similarly, does it not also place a moral burden on me to petition the EFCC against the Deputy Governor in a Government I am a senior member and also a party leader?
I make bold to state that the Deputy Governor feel that he has traded in the realm of the EFCC to warrant their search light on him, I should not be dragged into such venture, a s I do not belong to the opposition party nor stand to benefit anything from his alleged probe.
It is for those reasons that this press conference today is to inform the world that the statement credited to the Deputy Governor of our dear state that I Washington Osa-Osifo acting on the directive or our amiable Governor wrote a petition against him to EFCC with a view to impeach him is completely false. I have never in my life at any time whatsoever written any petition against any person to EFCC.
I am greatly embarrasses and traumatized by the statement credited to Rt. Hon. Pius Odubu against my person considering his enviable height as a senior lawyer, two time member of the National Assembly, Deputy Governor our dear State and a Governorship aspirant of our great party.
It is important to note at this junction that the most worrisome part of this matter is the fact that also touches on the character and person of the Comrade Governor, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, as it is falsely stated that Hon. Henry Idahagbon and my humble self were directed by the Comrade Governor to write the purported petition against the Deputy Governor to EFCC. This in itself is wicked.
From my association with the Comrade Governor, I boldly state that he (Comrade Governor) has consistently demonstrated that he is a father to all who will never allow any of his sheep to be devoured no matter the circumstance. I bear testimony to the fact that the Comrade Governor does not belong to the realm or mere men or politicians where destruction of other people to further one’s political interest is the acceptable norm. No doubt, the Comrade Governor as an iconic leader is too sophisticated for that kind of destructive political device employed by politically weak minds.
I therefore at the risk of petition reiterate that the aforesaid statement credited to the Deputy Governor is completely false, malicious and misleading and initiated by maker to win cheap political sympathy.
Consequently, I demand a retraction of the malicious statement by the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Pius Odubu. I further demand that he tenders an unreserved apology to my person.
I thank you all for being part of this Press Conference.
Mr. Washington Osa-Osifo
Ministry of Energy and Water Resources.