…Ize-Iyamu first to pick
From Tony Osauzo,
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, commenced sales of governorship forms to its aspirants with Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, emerging the first aspirant to pick his own.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu, a former secretary to the Edo State Government, was handed the N16 million form by the Edo State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dan Orbih, at the state secretariat of the party located on First East Circular Road, Benin City.
The atmosphere at the party secretariat was carnival-like, as the entire road and adjorning areas were taken over by hundreds of the aspirant’s supporters who came to witness the event from across the state.
Addressing party members and supporters shortly after he bought the form, Ize-Iyamu disclosed that it was purchased for him by his friends across the 18 local government areas of the state, adding that “money was not
provided by the National Assembly members or people from a section of Edo State.”
He commended the party Chairman, Chief Orbih, for managing the affairs of the PDP well in the state, saying that “when everything appeared lost for the PDP in Edo State, you offered leadership and made PDP the delight of the Edo people.”
While promising to conduct himself in a manner that will dignify the party, Ize-Iyamu assured that he would offer his support to whoever emerges the PDP candidate in case he did not win, just as he hoped that his co-aspirants would support him if he emerges winner of the primaries.
“The journey to reclaim Edo from the tyrant that has held the state hostage has begun. We elected a government without vision and agenda. We must change the change that has brought poverty and hardship upon our people.
“During the last presidential election, the PDP won 15 local government areas. This time around, we shall do more. Edo people are crying out to the PDP and more people will join us as we progress”, he said.
In his comment, Orbih urged the governorship aspirant to go about his ambition without mudslinging or character assassination.
APC: The three front runners
From Tony Osauzo, Benin and Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
With barely a week to the All Progressives Congress (APC) primares, the chaff are now being sifted from the wheat.
At the deadline for the return of nomination and expression of interest forms which expired on Tuesday, 12 aspirants, among them a woman, returned their forms to the National Secretariat of the party.
They are the state deputy governor, Dr. Pius Odubu, Kenneth Imansuangbon, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), Godwin Obaseki and Chris Ogiemwonyi.
Others are Comrade Peter Esele, Austin Emuan, Senator Oserheimen Osunbor, Emmanuel Arigbe-Osula, Blessing Agbomhere, Prof. Ebegue Amadasun and Tina Agbara.
As reported earlier on this page, though the APC has no zoning arrangement, it has long been ingrained in party members’ minds that after Governor Oshiomhole’s eight years in office, a Benin man from the South Senatorial District will succeed him as the next governor of the state.
Daily Sun learnt that Governor Oshiomhole had made up his mind on this long ago as a show of appreciation to the Binis for the massive support he got from them that enabled him to win elections and run his two terms smoothly.
Speculations are rife that the governor did not just make up his mind to cede the governorship seat to Edo South, he has also anointed an aspirant in the person of Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the Chairman of his Economic Team, to take over from him as the next governor.
As part of the plot, Governor Oshiomhole organised delegates of Etsako West, Etsako Central and Etsako East a few days ago to adopt Obaseki as their sole candidate ahead of the governorship party primaries of the APC scheduled to hold on June 18.
In the estimation of critical observers, the implication of this is that Mr. Obaseki already has an advantage over other aspirants in the race for APC ticket, as he is expected to garner majority of the bloc votes from Edo North, all things being equal.
Daily Sun findings show that aspirants in the race that are not from Edo South may just be participating for the sake of it.
So, the permutation is that the battle for the APC governorship ticket is now among the Benin aspirants. They are Dr. Pius Odubu, Chris Ogiemwonyi, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), Prof. Ebegue Amadasun and Emmanuel Arigbe-Osula.
From a further calculation, of the six aspirants from the South Senatorial District, the candidate is expected to emerge from among three of the aspirants who are more visibly on ground. They are Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Dr. Pius Odubu and Chris Ogiemwonyi.
But whatever happens, the next one week will tell who among the three front runners will secure the APC ticket for the September 10 poll in the state.
Meanwhile, following protests that have trailed the allegations of certain supporters of an aspirant for the governorship election buying up the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), the National leadership of APC has revealed that the delegates may use international passports.
Frowning at the embarrassment the report has caused the party, the national Auditor of the party, Chief George Moghalu, noted that he does not understand the controversy about buying up PVCs, stressing that the party has not taken a final decision on the voting requirements.
According to him: “I have heard that rumour but the question I keep asking is, to what purpose. They should understand that we have party register which will ensure that delegates will not be manufactured overnight.
“There is also a guideline and the committee for the Edo primaries will come up with the approved guideline by the party leadership. There are going to be many means of identifications and I can tell you that it may not only be by PVC. The party may decide to use international passport as a further means of identification.
“If the committee allows the use of other means of identifications, of what gain is this outcry about buying up PVCs.
In fact, I don’t know what the person allegedly buying up PVCs intends to do with them,” he said.
“Everything is in place, we have set out to put the modalities in place, and the date of the primaries has already been fixed for this month, precisely June 18. The aspirants have collected and returned their interest and nomination forms.”
“I am also aware that Screening and Appeal committees have been constituted and after, they will go for the primary, which the party leadership has assured every aspirant that it will be free, fair and credible. Once that is done, whoever emerges will go to the street and start campaigning.
“The report that Governor Adams Oshiomhole has arm-twisted the national leadership of the party to endorse a particular candidate is totally out of the question. I want to categorically say that nobody has arm-twisted anybody.
“As a member of the working committee of the party, I can authoritatively dispel such as a rumour and tell you that we are on the same page so far. It has been funfair at the headquarters as the aspirants collect and return their forms and I can tell you that every aspirant is working to be the candidate.
“As a party, we are determined to present to Edo people free, fair and credible primaries so that whoever emerges will have the confidence of his or her fellow aspirants to go into the election as a united family. As for arm-twisting anybody, it is far from the truth.
“However, don’t forget that this is a game we must also know that speculations, gossip and blackmail are part of the trade. Very soon, some people will claim that they were there when the result was written in advance and given to a particular candidate,” he quipped.
Nowamagbe emerges UPP candidate
A social critic and popular musician, Adviser Shedrack Nowamagbe, has emerged the candidate of the United Progressive Party (UPP) for the forthcoming poll.
Adviser Nowamagbe garnered 327 votes to clinch the party’s ticket at the party’s primaries held in Benin yesterday.
He was the sole aspirant for the election after two others stepped down from the race.
Members of the party however voted after accreditation that was witnessed by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Out of the 339 party members that were accredited to vote, four voted no to Nowamagbe’s aspiration while eight declined to vote.
Chairman of the UPP electoral committee, Oguehi Dike, urged the party members to be steadfast and resolute in their bid to form a new government in Edo State.
In his acceptance speech, Nowamagbe said he has shamed his critics who described him as an illiterate.
He promised to lead the campaign that would ensure victory for the party during the polls, adding that he does not have money to share but that he would provide real democratic dividends.
“I am overwhelmed. You can now see that musicians are not illiterate as people believed.
“When I told people about my dream, they asked me whether I was going to plan music in Government House. I have the name and we will be victorious”, Nowamagbe said.
My government will give women key positions -Imansuangbon
By Ojieva Ehiosun
One of the top contenders for the All Progressives Congress(APC), Kenneth Imansuangbon, has pledged total commitment to the overall wellbeing of women in the state.
Imansuangbon made this promise in Igarra Akoko- Edo in Edo North senatorial zone while addressing a cross section of women delegates of the party in his conclusion of campaign tour of the area. “I want to thank you our great women and mothers for another opportunity to stand before you all; you will recall that this is my third visit to your area since we set out for this vision. I’m here to remind you all of the forthcoming governorship primaries of our great party, and also to seek your votes and support as delegates. I have said it before, I am saying it again that women remain very important to our lives; without a woman, I won’t have been here and it is very important to treat women well. I stand before you today to reiterate that women will be given key positions of responsibility in the day to day running of the state if am given the party’s ticket to run as your governor in the September gubernatorial polls.”
“Women world over are powerful people; they are mothers and nation builders; in a society where women are not part of governance, such society is sick. So, give me your votes as delegates, I promise that the dividends of democracy will be brought to your door steps.
The marginalization that these senatorial districts have suffered for long will come to an end.”
He advised delegates not to sell their conscience, adding that their future and that of their children should be a guide to casting of their votes.
“Edo people must not eat today and forget tomorrow; you must not sell your conscience for immediate reward while you put your future and the future of your generations yet unborn in perpetual jeopardy. If you sell your votes during the election, know that you have sold your future. I’m ordained to be a blessing to the less privileged in our society’’.