From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Senator Ahmed Markafi-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) factional governorship candidate for the September 10 election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has named Mr. John Yakubu, a former Council Chairman of Esan North East, as his running mate.
He made the announcement at the Baptist Convention Ground in Benin, where he flagged off his campaign yesterday.
Assuring party faithful that the PDP will win the election, Ize-Iyamu said the PDP knows the pains and has heard the cries of Edo people.
“We promise you, the change we will bring will not put you in bondage, unemployment, kill businesses”, adding that the change he was promising would support agriculture, create jobs, industries and bring even development to all parts of the state.
“We are tired of deceit. We will give scholarships, bursaries, build schools and provide sporting facilities”, Ize-Iyamu said and thanked the PDP for presenting him the party’s flag.
Earlier, a member of the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP, Senator Odion Ugbesia, while presenting the party’s flag to Ize-Iyamu on behalf of the Chairman of the committee, Sen. Ahmed Markafi and the Edo State Working Cmmittee of the party, said the flag represents the key to Osadebey Government House.
In his speech, Chief Tom Ikimi, one of the party’s chieftains, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to provide a level playing field during the Edo governorship election to allow the people elect a popular governor.
Also speaking, Akwa Ibom governor, Emmanuel Udom, said the PDP Governors’ Forum supports the candidature of Ize-Iyamu, just as a member of Board of trustees of the party, Prof. Jerry Gana commended the Edo State chapter of the party for nominating a good candidate for the election, saying “this man will lead well, this man will be fair, this man will be just”.
The State Chairman of PDP, Chief Dan Orbih explained that the party resorted to using the Baptist Convention ground because of Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s refusal to grant the party the use of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium for the flag off of the campaign.
He said the political reality in Edo State is that the PDP was set to win the election, adding that Oshiomhole’s decision to impose Godwin Obaseki will never be accepted by Edo people.
Alleging that Governor Oshiomhole was spending N500 million monthly in the name of urgent security, Orbih queried if there was Boko Haram in Edo to warrant that expenditure.
He said by the Court of Appeal decision affirming Sen. Markafi as National Chairman of the PDP, Ize-Iyamu was the authentic candidate of the party for the Edo gubernatorial election.
Among party chieftains that attended the campaign flag-off were Chief Tony Anenih, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, Secretary of PDP Caretaker Committee, Sen. Ben Obi and Deputy Governor of Delta State, Kingsley Otuaro.
Controversy persists over Accord Party’s candidate
As Don Pedro Obaseki was yesterday nominated candidate of the Accord Party in Benin by over 300 members of the party ahead of the election, the party has alleged that he was an impostor and not its card carrying member.
According to Dr. Samson Isibor and Emmanuel Idehenre, Accord State Chairman and Secretary, respectively, any purported primary organized by Obaseki was illegal.
“We implore the good people of Edo State to ignore whatsoever comes out of the kangaroo primary”, Isibor and Idehenre in a press statement said, adding that the National Chairman, one Mohammed Nalado and his exco were removed by the NEC and NWC of the party since 29 July 2011 and had since ceased to be the National Chairman, as he has been replaced by Barrister Oke.
“Any decision emanating from him is of no effect. For the avoidance of doubt, the said Nalado is being investigated for corruption at ICPC for misappropriating over N92 million.
“The said Nalado is an appointee of Jonathan Administration thereby holding double appointment contrary to the Accord constitution Article 24 that says a member cannot hold double appointment; he or she will forfeit the party appointment with immediate effect.
“Accord therefore warns those parading themselves as Governorship candidate and State Chairman of the party to desist henceforth. The long arm of the law will catch up with them.
“We warn INEC not to recognize Mr. Pedro Obaseki as Accord Candidate as we shall take a decision on Wednesday 6th, 2016”, Isibor and Idehenre further said.
Meanwhile, Don Pedro said his election was a call to duty and that he would embark on door to door campaigns.
He said he has unveiled the EDO agenda which covers empowerment, development and opportunity for the people of the state.
Obaseki charges Muslims to pray for election success
From Tony osauzo, Benin
The Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has charged Muslims in the state to remain steadfast in praying for the success and peaceful conduct of the September 10 election in the state.
In a statement released by the spokesman of his campaign organisation, Hon Abas Braimah, Obaseki said the holy month of Ramadam enabled the faithful to renew their faith in Allah through virtuous sacrifices and self denial.
“On behalf of the Godwin Obaseki Campaign Organization, I congratulate and celebrate with all the Muslim faithful across the world, Nigeria and Edo State in particular for having successfully completed the fasting of the holy month of Ramadan.
“As we celebrate joyfully being able to participate in the fasting, we must remember that this celebration of Eid el fitri symbolizes absolute submission to Allah’s will through personal sacrifice in promotion of peaceful coexistence, perseverance, tolerance, love and accommodation of our neighbours through reconciliation and total forgiveness.
“We must remember to use this occasion to pray and preach peace for the forthcoming governorship election in our dear Edo State scheduled to hold on September 10, 2016.
Once again I congratulate and celebrate with you”, Obaseki said.
PDP urges party supporters to shun violence at campaigns
By Ojieva Ehiosun
Former Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Edo State chapter, Hon. Felix Utubor, has called on supporters of the party across the state to shun any act capable of denying the party victory at the forthcoming election in the state.
In a chat with Daily Sun in Benin, the newly appointed Director of operations said the party was however not ready to succumb to intimidation’s from those controlling the affairs of the state presently.
He said the PDP is working very hard to ensure its success at the election, adding that it is important for them to have a level playing ground devoid of violence for the aspirants to prove their popularity to the people of Edo state.
His words: “The Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State is synonymously known with peaceful conducts in all our activities; that is why I’m calling on our supporters to run away from violence. In as much as we are for peace, we are not going to succumb to any kind of intimidation from those at the top; our campaigns will be issue based and not campaign of acrimony and character assassination. “We have learnt a lot from our mistakes, Edo people have chosen pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to carry our flag at the polls and I know by the special grace of God, we are going to change the change come September 10. And victory will surely smile on our way in Jesus name Amen.
“Our choice of Ize- Iyamu is a wrong one; he is highly reliable and competent, we are determined to regain our lost glory in Edo State; God himself has a hand in the election of Ize- Iyamu, despite the fact that we lost the seat some time ago; we are very sure that we would come back in a big way. Our party still remains a grass rooted party; this is the more reason why our supporters should steer away from violence at the campaign venues, ” he said.
“In line with the PPA manifesto, this cut across health, education, agriculture/employment, industrialisation, infrastructures, security and housing where I and indeed the PPA have a positive difference to impact on our treasured, hardworking, resourceful and culture-endowed Edo people”, he said.
On how prepared is the party, Mr. Dave Esokpunwu, the PPA state chairman said: “we are not just merely in this governorship race, but we are strongly in it to win believing that come September 10, 2016 the PPA will be on its way to Dennis Osadebey avenue.
“And as vividly enunciated by our candidate in his acceptance speech, Edo State will be better off for it going by the laudable programme of a PPA government for the good and hardworking people of Edo State,” Esokpunwu said.
More parties nominate candidates
As the deadline for political parties to submit their governorship nominees to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) draws nearer, more governorship candidates have emerged ahead of the Edo State gubernatorial election.
Among them is Bishop Akhalamhe, an aspirant of people for Democratic Change (PDC) who was nominated as the consensus candidate of the party during PDC primary election held in Benin City yesterday.
The acting state chairman of the party, Mr. Erhunmwunse Joseph who declared the primary election open said the party’s decision to uphold the election of Akhalamhe through voice vote endorsement as candidate of the party is in line with the directive of the national leadership.
Bishop Akhalamhe in his acceptance speech decried the present economic pains which residents in the state are faced with and promised to revive the economy of the state through industrialisation with focus on critical income generating infrastructures.
Also, Prince Frank Ukonga, the former state chairman of Social Democratic Party (SDP) who dumped the party for the new Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) promised an enhanced relationship between the government and workers in the state.
“In the aspects of labour and workers of the state, I promise to pay salaries as at when due, ratify all promotions and pay local government workers promptly and also to employ more than 50,000 new workers into the civil service of the state”, he said.
Meanwhile, a broadcaster, Mr. Thomas Sado who emerged candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) on Saturday declared that his programme for the state is anchored on a seven point agenda aimed at ensuring a positively and totally transformed state.