President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed Osagie Ize-Iyamu for the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
Buhari endorsed Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday when he visited the Presidential Villa in the company of the party’s caretaker committee chairman and Yobe State governor Mai Mala Buni.
President Buhari presented the party’s flag to the APC candidate in the presence of Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano state, and Atiku Bagudu, governor of Kebbi, who accompanied Ize-Iyamu to the villa.
Speaking with journalists, Ize-Iyamu dismissed the rumour that 12 lawmakers of the Edo assembly, who took their oath of office and elected a factional speaker on Thursday, did so at his residence.
“Let me debunk the statement that 17 members of the state house of assembly sat in my sitting room, it is not true,” he said.
On his part, Ganduje described Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, as a liability to the PDP, saying his poor record will give the APC a landslide victory in the election.
“I can assure you that Governor Obaseki is a liability to the PDP. I can assure you that we are contesting against a governor who has failed most woefully,” Ganduje said.
Bagudu, who is the chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, said all APC governors are behind Ize-Iyamu, adding that they have been working to ensure his success just like they did for Obaseki in 2016.
APC risks losing election with Oshiomhole leading campaign for Ize-Iyamu – PGF DG
Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), an umbrella body of governors elected under the platform of the APC, Salihu Lukman, has stated that the party would suffer defeat in the September 19 Edo governorship election if allows the sacked national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to lead the campaign for the APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
Lukman said this in a statement he issued in Abuja on Friday titled ‘Progressive politics – which way APC?’, insisting that Ize-Iyamu must be very visible and seen as the face of the campaign if APC wants victory at the Edo guber polls.
He observed that the APC campaign is personalised around Oshiomhole while the candidate of the party, Ize-Iyamu, is an onlooker, saying the sound bite from the Edo APC campaign is so offensive to the point where Oshiomhole appeared to be disowning almost every APC in Edo State between 2016 and now.
The PGF Boss appealed to Oshiomhole to ‘calm down’.
“This campaign is not about his person…As opposed to reconciliation, it is loud drums of war that has taken over the airwaves in Edo State. Comrade Oshiomhole has relocated to Edo State and taken over the APC campaign and the campaign is proceeding in a manner that suggests the Edo State governorship election is an extension of the personal battle between Governor Obaseki and Comrade Oshiomhole.
“Based on the personalised way the APC Edo State campaign is being carried out, PDP all of a sudden is coming out very strongly to campaign for votes. If the Edo State APC campaign is to go ahead this way when APC wins the election, who will run the affairs of the state as Governor? Is it Comrade Oshiomhole or Pastor Ize-Iyamu? If our party want Edo people to vote for our candidate, Pastor Ize-Iyamu must be very visible and be seen as the face of the campaign.
“Comrade Oshiomhole should take a backseat and play the facilitator role our leaders play in all similar circumstances. Lagos State governorship election since 2007 presents a good model. Without any doubt, our leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, may be argued to be very influential in the emergence of candidates, from Babatunde Raji Fashola, Akinwumi Ambode to our current Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. But once a candidate emerges, the responsibility of executing the campaign largely belongs to the candidate on account of which the particular candidate becomes the face of the campaign.
“It is important that Oshiomhole endorse a situation where the party is able to apply the Lagos model to the Edo State governorship campaign especially because we want the Edo people to be able to have confidence on our candidate, Ize-Iyamu and believe that when they elect him, he will be the one that will govern the state. The responsibility for ensuring that this is done rests with the Mai Mala Buni Caretaker/Convention Committee.,” Lukman said.