All Progressives Congress, APC governorship aspirant in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of running away from a fair contest to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Ize-Iyamu in an interview said the governor’s defection to the PDP made minimal impact on the party in Edo because he left with only a handful of supporters.
Ize-Iyamu with his wife, Prof. Idia Ize-Iyamu, are celebrating their birthday on Sunday said he would defeat Obaseki contesting from any political party based on what he described as the governor’s contentious disposition to governance.
Ize-Iyamu spoke in an interview with The Nation newspaper ahead of the Edo State APC primary where Ize-Iyamu is expected to coast to victory.
“I had, and still have, no problems going up against Godwin Obaseki. On the contrary, he has been the one running away from a fair contest. Everyone saw what happened in December 2019 when the Edo State chapter of the APC organised a rally to welcome me back ceremoniously.
“You saw how Governor Obaseki abused the powers of his office, passed emergency laws banning rallies and other legal gatherings, and deployed both security agents and thugs to deny our members and followers access to the event. He tried to block my return because he was afraid.”
“Whether in the APC or any other platform, as long as the contest will be determined by Edo people, I am confident of victory against him. If you drive around the state today and feel the pulse of the people, you will understand why I am that confident.
“The verdict is out on Obaseki’s term as governor and in summary, the people are tired of his problematic leadership, which has focused only on personal battles and needless confrontations.”
Affirming that only a handful of persons left the party with Obaseki, he said:
“Interestingly, only a handful of people are exiting the party with the governor. The majority of party members and leaders in Edo State are happy to see his back because he has been a major barrier to achieving peace and unity.
“He was going about suspending people, even local council officials, for not supporting him or adopting his combative stance. All of these people are excited he is out.”
“His voluntary exit has given room for talks and fence-mending in a conducive atmosphere. Therefore, I do not think it is going to have any negative impact at all.
“On the contrary, it has helped the party to sharpen its focus, put its house together, and rally loyal and committed members ahead of the election.”