Barrister Gloria Adagbon, lawyer and a member of Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) as well as a staunch supporter of Dr. Pius Odubu on his race to Edo Government house in this interview with ISAAC ASABOR, threw insights to diverse issues concerning the candidacy of Odubu come September, 2020,  and by extension the chance which Edo All Progressive Congress (Edo APC) stands in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state with the major opposition party, PDP.  

Excerpt:

You are an ardent supporter of Mr. Pius Odubu’s race to Edo Government House, and equally a member of Odubu Support Organization (OSO). Can you tell us about the qualities you saw in him that made you to be ardently in support of his bid to become Edo State Governor come the next political dispensation? Also, what is Odubu Support Organization all about?

Pius Odubu, to many people in the state, that is Edo state, is a good leader, and one that knows the way, and can as well show his followers the way to go. He has over the years consistently and continuously proven to be a good leader with unrivalled leadership qualities and abilities.

Personally, I believe in justice and fairness. The principle of equity, justice and fairness demands that Edo APC should rally round Odubu and support his aspirations, even though all the candidates are all qualified in their own right. 

Also, since Odubu exited from his position as Deputy Governor in Edo State, he has not been fingered in any case of corruption or financial malfeasance. The level of his integrity is worth emulating. 

As a good leader, he has seen the need to run for Edo 2020 gubernatorial race, unarguably as a ‘Moses’ to enable him be on the pedestal of liberating the Edo people from the shackles of poverty, retrogression and gross underdevelopment with all seriousness and commitment.

You see Edo APC is in a unique position. The governorship aspirants who had declared to contest in Edo 2020 – H.E. Dr Pius Odubu, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, Engr. Chris Ogiewonyi and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu agreed to consult and work together and that whoever emerges in the party’s primaries as the party’s flag bearer will be supported by all to become the Governor of Edo State. This is novel and unprecedented and show high level of political maturity and discipline. 

I believe Edo APC is poised to produce a new governor come November 2020. Undoubtedly, Odubu will make a decent and humane governor from the perspective of accountability, creativity and innovation that are inherent in his disposition as a leader. Not only that, he possesses empathy towards the masses and resilience to withstand any circumstance with a positive attitude.

Besides, can you tell us of other notable traits that can be found in him as a political leader?

Another notable trait I found in him as a good leader is his emotional intelligence cum decision making capabilities to control and manage emotions effectively which prevents negative emotions from influencing decision making no matter the circumstance. 

As a man of immense leadership qualities, he has constantly won the trust of his followers by being transparent in all respects. Instead of dwelling in secrecy as some politicians do, he has made me, as a supporter, to buy into his vision and support him with great conviction that if given the opportunity to lead, he will redeem the good people of Edo State from her state of acute impoverishment.

He is unarguably given to delegation and empowering the people in any given circumstance. As we all know, a tree cannot make a forest. It is important for a leader to focus on key responsibilities while leaving the rest to others. Pius Odubu as a leader has not fallen short in this regard. Besides, his ability to delegate, he believes in empowering his followers, most especially the youths.

For instance, he on April 1, 2020, donated hand sanitisers to the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Benin. Though he was represented by Mr. Henry Idahagbon, who is a member of his campaign team, he called on journalists to be safety conscious as they go about their duties in the coronavirus epidemic era.

Now on your second question, let me say that Odubu Support Organisation is a group that consists of men and women of goodwill and young people who believe in the political ideology of Dr. Pius Odubu as a Pro-people leader who believes in investing hugely in Human Capital Development.

Against the backdrop of the feud between Oshiomhole and Obaseki’s, don’t you think APC’s chances will be affected in the coming gubernatorial election?

The Edo APC chances won’t be affected in any shape or form because whoever emerges as the party candidate will have the full support of the APC family. 

Mind you, members of the PDP, who people are expecting to seize the opportunity of the crisis, have been having crisis within their own party too with gale of suspensions even to the extent of endorsing Governor Godwin Obaseki. As someone that understands the dynamics of a political party, can it not be said that they are directionless?  Suffice it to say that while the APC is working towards producing a candidate and as well as issue of governor Obaseki fighting for a second term although we don’t know under which party, the PDP on the other hand is hit with crisis of which Senatorial district will produce the party chairman and the governorship candidate. Let me inform you that the crisis in Edo PDP has deepened as an Abuja High Court on recently issued an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the party from holding or conducting any state congress in the state.

What is your take on Federal Government’s efforts in the fight against Coronavirus disease, otherwise called COVID-19?

Let me say the government has done much in this regard. It shows that President Buhari will not abandon Nigerians as he will continue to provide for the less privileged –group concerning the outbreak of COVID-19: 

The federal government, under the able leadership of President Buhari will not abandon Nigerians whose livelihood and lives are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic or the lockdown announced by him to prevent further spread of the disease. As you have no doubt witnessed, his administration has been making efforts to ensure the protection and well-being of the citizenry. 

What is your take on the politicisation of FG’s containment measures by some PDP members? 

I will stand on the position of the Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF, Salihu Moh. Lukman who recently slammed the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for attempting to politicise the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to lock down the nation’s capital, Abuja as well as Lagos and Ogun states for two weeks as part of emergency control measures against the Covid-19. 

Recall that the President had in a nationwide broadcast announced that the Federal Capital Territory and the two states would be completely shut down to allow health personnel to effectively contain the deadly Covid-19. However, the PDP had immediately berated the president, describing his address as empty and manifestly lacking in content especially with regards to proffering new solutions different from what the states are already doing. 

For instance, the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiya described the President’s speech as ’empty and failed to address the salient demands of the impact of the scourge (of Covid-19) on the nation.’ “The statement of the PDP was complimented, perhaps inadvertently, by another statement from a private lawyer, Mr. Ebun-olu Adegboruwa SAN who condemned some of the measures announced by the President, which include restriction of movements in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun as illegal, arguing that the President ‘has not invoked his powers under the Constitution to declare any state of emergency, which must be approved by the National Assembly.’ These responses completely ignore the gravity of the challenges we are faced it and imagine that the problems can be reduced to politics and legal arguments. The truth is that the President has the powers place the restriction of movement, including the lockdown under the provisions of the Quarantine Act, to prevent the spread of a communicable disease. To me, I think it is high time we stopped politicising critical issues such as Covid-19 which is raging across all continents. Furthermore, I would urge the PDP to provide Nigerians with a credible opposition to improve governance and our democracy.