Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders and campaign team to avoid repeating mistakes in the Edo state gubernatorial election similar to the ones that cost the party victories in Rivers, Zam- fara and Bayelsa states during the last elections.
He has therefore charged them do all within their powers to follow legal and constitutional means, to win the election. He gave the charge Friday, while receiving the APC candidate in the September 19 Edo election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in Abuja.
He expressed optimism that with the resolution of the “acute crisis’’ in the party in Edo State, the party will regain its pride of place in winning elections, and serving the people. President Buhari also urged party leaders at the national and state levels to follow the electoral process in an open and transparent manner.
“What I want is a transparent pro- cess so that the confidence of the people will be strengthened.”
According to a statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Buhari 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 APC Caretaker Committee, Mai Bala Buni, who presented the candidate, told the President that: “Pastor Ize-Iyamu is a seasoned grassroots politician who is loved by his people’’, noting that President Buhari’s blessings on the candidate will further validate the party’s confidence.
The Chairman of the APC Edo State gubernatorial campaign, Governor Abdullahi 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. Ize-Iyamu assured the President of his commitment to ensuring good governance in the state if elected in the September elections, recalling that he served as Deputy Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee of the APC at its formation.
He 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.