INTERVIEW: “We Have Been Working Underground To Shame Our Detractors” – Comrade Inu M. O. Mavis


“As a young man with the interest of my community at heart and the prompting of the elders amongst us, we couldn’t stand aside when the leadership tussles between the major actors in the All Progressives Congress which were in power started between our governor and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole”

*Comrade Inu Momohsani Oyakhilome Mavis


When Pegasus Reporters spoke with this youthful firebrand politician from Edo north in his Lagos office in 2019, he was a budding activist in the African Alliance Congress, AAC, party. A bit shy and not given to too much talking, a media chat with him has always returned one fact: he’s a highly cerebral youth with a loaded passion to develop his community

So when Pegasus Reporters visited his Lagos office recently and decided to check on him, we were surprised that Comrade Inu Momohsanni Oyakhilome Mavis is living up to a promise: to run and maintain a constituency office even in Lagos, after he lost his bid for Etsako 2 Constituency under the umbrella of the AAC to the APC candidate in 2019. What interrogated our curiosity was that instead of the AAC flag that used to welcome people to his office, it was the People’s Democratic Party, PDP flag that greets us. We couldn’t resist asking why even as the comrade was kind enough to speak to us between very busy schedules. Excerpts…

PR: We are interested in how your group has fared since the last general election in which you contested for the Etsako 2 Constituency seat which was won by the APC, more so that we can see that it’s the PDP flag that adorns your office. Why and how did you dump your former party for the PDP?

Ans: Thank you for that question. Well, I should say that I come from a family of the People’s Democratic Party as my father was a PDP leader in this constituency for over 13 years. As a young undergraduate in those years, we were brought up in the tradition of that party and I was schooled in that tradition. Somehow along the line, when I thought that my family had contributed enough to have someone stand up to do what my father stood for all the years because he provided a very balanced and articulate leadership, we believe that family can better be exposed through me, we were disappointed. As a young man, I had a dream to actualize because we had the followership, not only from the grassroots but from the immediate tertiary institution, the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, where I was a youth leader in various organizations and social bodies.

PR: Comrade, in other words, you’re saying that the PDP leadership refusal in that year to grant you the party ticket was responsible for your move to the African Alliance Congress?

Ans: I won’t put it like that. You see, I had the followership and the support to have won that seat, but I was denied the chance. Personally, I wanted to remain and fight another day but my followers felt disillusioned and requested that we move to the AAC which then was the only party that had not picked a candidate for the seat. That was how we moved. And if you look into that result, we did very well as a party. It was for us, as a group, a political testing ground to prove that we had the support despite our lean purse. We proved that we could move the crowd as they say.

PR: And how did your father or family take your movement and eventual loss to the APC in that election?

Ans: My father, like I said was at the leadership echelon of the party in those years. As a leader, he could influence the result but he proved that he is a democrat by allowing the people to decide. So there were two things involved during those days of sojourn in the AAC even though he gave me his blessings to exercise my right as an adult. One, there was the burning ambition of a young man who wanted to prove a point against a democratic order which my father felt must be followed even at the risk of my interest as his son. The second was that he stepped aside to watch how strong and independent I could withstand opposition. I learnt a lot from him and that sojourn.

PR: So how did you find yourself back in the PDP and why?

Ans: Hahahaha! You see, I want to say it was a period of rebellion; rebellion against a culture, I was brought up in, and against my family’s decision, even though they supported me somehow to allow me to prove my mettle and understanding of political struggles. But suffice to conclude after the battles were won and lost, it took me a herculean test to convince my followers, especially among the youths why we have to go back to our original base, the PDP.

PR: So how did this take place?

Ans: As a young man with the interest of my community at heart and the prompting of the elders amongst us, we couldn’t stand aside when the leadership tussles between the major actors in the All Progressives Congress which were in power started between our governor and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. As stakeholders, we knew we must play a role in resolving the issues involved and from my experience as one who had gone through a similar route which Governor Obaseki was facing, I mean when someone believes you must toe a dictated path, we as stakeholder felt strongly that we must play a decisive role and we opened our flank to the then opposition group of Governor Obaseki in the APC and on the September 13th, 2020, we were back home in the PDP. His Excellency the Deputy Governor, Right Hon, Philips Shuaibu visited us to formally readmit us back into the PDP family. 

PR: So how has the journey been as a political opinion leader among the youths in your constituency?

Ans: So far, so good. You know, I’m not new to the PDP. It’s like culture within my family and followers. we are currently rebuilding and solidifying lost grounds, some of which followed the misunderstanding between His Excellency Governor Godwin Obaseki and ex-governor Adams Oshiomhole. But we must give thanks to God that we won all the court actions instituted against our party by the APC. There are still a few people amongst us who for one reason or the other are not happy with the situation. But we are doing our best to make them understand that most of the challenges that we face as a constituency are not intentional. That Osadebey House is not deliberately overlooking them, that they are the products of the current worldwide meltdown and national crisis which every state in the country is facing. 

PR: Would you want to share with us some of these challenges faced by your group?

Ans: I think as a democratic party, there are communication loops through which these can be resolved. They are not insurmountable! The party hierarchy knows what to do and we are sure that the deputy governor who is the leader of the party here in Edo North and Hon. Gowon Jerry who initiated and persuade me to return back home by brokering our return to the family. One thing we are not relenting on is that we have shamed our detractors who opposed our joining the PDP and when things are fully in place, they will see that we did what was right for the constituency.

PR: We want to thank you very sincerely Sir for your time.

Ans: Thank you. You’re always welcome to this place.

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