…Warns against pitfalls that affected party’s victory in Rivers, Bayelsa, Zamfara
…President impressed with Ize-Iyamu’s performance so far—APC
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, urged leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the campaign team to do all that is necessary, and follow legal and constitutional means to win the forthcoming governorship election in Edo state slated for September 19.
President Buhari gave the order when he received the APC governorship candidate for the election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who was presented to him by the Chairman, APC Caretaker/National Convention Planning Committee, Mai Mala Buni, alongside the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum and governor of Kebbi, Atiku Abubakar as well as Governor Abdullahi Ganduje at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
President Buhari, who personally presented the APC flag to Pastor Ize-Iyamu warned party leaders to avoid the pitfalls that affected the party’s victory in Rivers, Zamfara and Bayelsa states in the 2019 elections, pointing out that with the resolution of the “acute crisis” in the party in Edo State, he was optimistic that the party will regain its pride of place in winning elections, and serving the people.
He urged party leaders at the national and state levels to follow the electoral process in an open and transparent manner, adding, “What I want is a transparent process so that the confidence of the people will be strengthened.”
The president congratulated Pastor Ize-Iyamu on his emergence as the party’s candidate in Edo State after a “turbulent process”, assuring him of full support.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, who presented the candidate, told the President that: “Pastor Ize- Iyamu is a seasoned grassroots politician who is loved by his people”, noting President Buhari’s blessings on the candidate further validates the party’s confidence.
The Chairman of the APC Edo State gubernatorial campaign, Governor Ganduje, said in line with the principles of the party the APC will lead a clean campaign, devoid of acrimony, hatred and violence.
Governor Ganduje said the campaign had started on a good and happy note, with the APC already taking over the state legislature with a majority of 17 out of 24.
In his response, Pastor Ize-Iyamu assured the President of his commitment to ensuring good governance in the state if elected in September elections, recalling that he served as Deputy Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee of the APC at its formation.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu said he was glad to return to the APC, describing his initial exit as that of a “prodigal son”.
The APC candidate thanked the President for the warm and fatherly reception, saying he was honoured to receive the party’s flag from the President.
Obaseki is a liability to APC—Ganduje
Fielding question on their preparation to win the election as the APC will be contesting against a serving governor in the Edo election, Chairman of the APC Governorship Campaign Council and Governor of Kano State, Abdulahi Ganduje described Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is seeking re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as a liability to the opposition party.
He said, “It could have been a big problem if the governor performs well while governing his state. He could have been an asset to PDP. But I assure you that governor is a liability. In fact, it’s even better for us that we are contesting with a serving governor who failed woefully. He failed woefully in the area of human development.”
Also fielding questions from journalists, the APC governorship candidate, Pastor Ize-Iyamu debunked the allegation that President Buhari did not want to see him, alleging that it was a falsehood being spread by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Asked if he was not worried over the graft charges against him and the terrible things said about him in the past by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, he said, “I’m not worried. In the heat of politics we tend to say a lot of things.
“Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who said those things then, has also explained the circumstances under which he said them, which is that he had to de-market me to market his product. That he didn’t have much to say about his product and so the only thing that he had to do was to see how much he could de-market me.
Oshiomhole not face of my campaign
When asked why Oshiomhole was the face of his campaign even though he was described as a grassroots politician, he said, “Let me first inform you that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is not the face of the campaign. As you rightly know, I am the gubernatorial candidate and Mallam Gani Audu is the deputy.
“It is the PDP that keeps mentioning his name, talking about him and playing tapes as if he is the candidate. But I want to inform you that I am very well known in Edo. I have lived there all my life, I have been chief of staff, secretary to the state government and we also have a local Director-General of the campaign, Gen. Cecil Esekhaigbe (retd.) from Edo Central, who is well respected.
“And of course, the national party has also established a local council headed by no less a person than the governor of Kano. So we are very strong and we are doing well. Of course, Adams Oshiomhole comes from Edo, he is an APC member and it is natural for him to campaign for our party but certainly he is not the face. Unlike what happened four years ago where maybe, the candidate could not speak and somebody had to speak for him. But anyone will tell you that everywhere I have gone, I have been the one speaking.”
Simple Agenda: Return to school of good governance, Shaibu tells Ize-Iyamu
Deputy Governor of Edo State comrade Philip Shaibu has told the All Progressives Congress, APC candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to return to the school of good governance and be more exposed to the art of governance.
According to the deputy Governor, governance is not window shopping but a collective and tedious process that requires critical thinking and collective wisdom of the masses.
“It is laughable for Ize-Iyamu and his cohort to undermine the true act of governance by reducing the complex and methodological process of good governance to a Simple Agenda.
“The fact that Ize-Iyamu still parades the same simple agenda that was rejected by the people of Edo State in 2016, due to his glaring inexperience in governance, as confirmed by his godfather Adams Oshiomhole’s who told the world that he restricted Ize-Iyamu to ‘midnight meetings” and didn’t let him participate in the affairs of government because Ize-Iyamu cannot be trusted, while Governor Obaseki was the “brain box” of his administration as Edo Governor, shows that Ize-Iyamu is not in tune with today’s method of technological system of governance.
“Edo State has gone beyond analogue form of government. We need a digital governor who is not technically deficient in the act of governance.
“Governor Obaseki has managed the affairs of the State in a particularly acceptable manner by shaping and sharpening it politically, economically and socially to meet the standards set by the society.
“The Obaseki administration has demonstrated all that is required of good governance; from zero tolerance for corruption, through demonstration of political will to the genuine commitment by government to the affairs of the citizens of the State,” Shaibu declared.
The Edo Deputy Governor stressed that the Obaseki’s administration has given political empowerment to the masses by providing them a voice, as well as making them stakeholders and involving them in the art of governance. Such a tedious process of governance cannot be tagged as a simple agenda. Advocates of the simple agenda are deformed about the art of good governance.
“The bottom top developmental approach to the welfare of the people in the administration of the State has given the people of the State a sense of belonging. The diversification of the Edo Economic from mono to multi-product, has been made possible through the tireless efforts of Governor Godwin Obaseki in his determination to build an edo of our collective dream,” Shaibu noted.
The Deputy Governor in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media Benjamin Atu further said that, ‘’massive leaking of Edo State Wealth has been checked by the Obaseki administration. The acts of corruption that permeate our everyday lives like bribery, kickback, favouritism, extortion, fraud, embezzlement and other vices that characterized the previous administration, have been wiped away. The high level poverty in the Oshiomhole era encouraged corruption because poverty is a by-product of corruption,” he stressed.