From Tony Osauzo, Benin
With the conclusion of party primaries and emergence of governorship candidates, the attention of the Edo State gubernatorial election has shifted to nomination of running mates.
In this regard, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has set the pace, with its two factional candidates nominating their running mates from the Central Senatorial District, otherwise known as Esanland.
While Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu picked former Esan North East Local Government Council Chairman, Mr. John Yakubu as his running mate, his other co-contestant and also factional candidate of the PDP, Hon. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, has also picked Mrs Alberta Okonofua Ayu from Esan Central Local Government Area as running mate.
In the meantime, the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Godwin Obaseki, is yet to pick a running mate.
In a recent interview with journalists in Benin, Obaseki explained that the issue of who becomes his running mate would be decided by the party.
Now in the APC, the issue of which Senatorial District should produce the running mate has taken the centre stage. The North Senatorial District is said to be seriously contending for the position, which many believe, should be ceded to the Central district in the interest of equity and fairness.
The North in its bid for the APC governorship running mate, is hinging its argument on the need for zones to be rewarded according to their voting strength.
But the Central Senatorial District which is also in serious contention for the Deputy Governorship position, have also argued that it will be unfair for a Senatorial District that had occupied the governorship seat for eight years to now be rewarded with the position of running mate at the expense of other zones.
They further contend that the Central District at the moment has been marginalized in the distribution of major political offices in the state, with area not having any of the first three positions including governor, deputy governor and speaker.
Consequently, leaders of the district insist that the running mate should be ceded to their area.
The matter is said to have generated interest and anxiety in the APC, with interest groups waiting anxiously to see where the party will nominate its running mate from. The party’s decision on the issue is expected to be critical to its electoral success or failure.
Commenting on the running mate issue, Edo State Chairman of APC, Anselm Ojezua queried: “if we didn’t adopt zoning for the governorship, why should we adopt zoning for Deputy Governor?”
While saying that as a chairman, the state was his constituency, Ojezua stated that the leadership of APC will meet at the highest level to nominate a running mate for Godwin Obaseki to ensure victory for the party at the gubernatorial election.
I’ll run people-orientated government -Ize-Iyamu
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, pastor Osagie Ize- Iyamu, has said his government was ready to run a people- orientated government if given the mandate to serve as the next governor of the state. He disclosed this in Benin, stressing that he was not ready to join issues with the APC government and that his campaigns will purely be issue based having known his people and what they want from him.
“We are committed to running a people- orientated government if voted into power at the forthcoming election. I have seen the afflictions of our people across the state, the jobless youths, the discriminatory system of government currently on in the state; the PDP has an obligation to the people, our government will treat all Edo citizenry as one; we are going to make sure that no part of the state is neglected in terms of development. We will strive towards strengthening peaceful coexistence and good neighbourliness in the state where every tribe regardless of ethnic, religious, political or social status can flourish.”
“I also want to assure the good people of this state and Nigerians that PDP campaigns will basically be issue-based because what the people want to hear is tell them what you can do.
“Accepted that as a party, we must have made some mistakes in the past, but we are here to rewrite the wrongs. And we have the belief that God will surely grant our hearts desire by giving us the victory we needed to change the change.”
I use this opportunity to tell our mammoth supporters not to be scared of intimidation and threat when we stand on the side of justice; nobody can intimidate us. All we ask for is a level playing ground,” he added.
Royal father cautions youths against sale of PVCs
From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Enogie of Evbuomoma Community, His Royal Highness, Stephen A.O. Ohangbon has cautioned the youth in his community against selling of their permanent voter cards, saying that it was only with it they could choose who governs them.
He made the appeal while speaking with journalists in his palace in Evbuomoma Community in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State.
Urging the youth to keep their permanent voter cards safe and use it on the day of election, the traditional ruler said with the permanent voter cards in their hands, they can bring about positive change by voting rightly.
He said that it is when they participate in the voting process, that they could have a say in any government of the day.
The royal father said gone was the era when people sold their permanent voter cards, adding that Nigerians have come to realize its potency and are ever ready to guard it jealously.
The Enogie while calling for the dividends of democracy to be extended to his community, promised that his people would like to keep their permanent voter cards safe and vote continuity in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
He appealed to the youth to be focused and always shun violence, while also calling on the various governorship candidates to eschew campaign of calumny and embrace peace before, during and after the election, as according to him, no meaningful development could take place in an atmosphere of crises and rancour.
He urged the governorship candidates to have a mindset to serve the people and not see the election as a do-or-die affair.
Ize-Iyamu salutes Muslims, promises better days
By Ndubuisi Orji
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has felicitated with Muslims on the occasion of this year’s eidel- fitri with a call on them to continue to pray for the country.
Ize-Iyamu in his Sallah message to the Muslim community in the state said the nation needs prayers now more than ever.
While congratulating the Muslims for the successful completion of this year’s Ramandan fast, the PDP candidate urged them not to depart from the lesson learnt during the fast.
He assured the Muslim community of adequate representation in the government, if he emerges governor in the September 10 gubernatorial election in the state.
Ize-Iyamu promised that a PDP government in the state would usher in better life for the people of the state, noting that as governor, he would be fair to all irrespective of their ethnic, religious and political affiliations.
Benin Crown Prince urges politicians to be peaceful
Benin Crown Prince, Eheneden Ereddiauwa, Edaiken N’Uselu, has called on politicians in Edo State to carry out their campaign in peaceful manner and always have the interest of the people at heart.
In a statement in Benin yesterday, the Crown Prince congratulated all the aspirants that emerged victorious in their parties’ primaries to become gubernatorial candidates.
He prayed that God Almighty and the spirit of his ancestors should bless and protect the candidates.
No fewer than 10 political parties have nominated their governorship candidates ahead of the September 10 gubernatorial election in Edo State.
The parties include APC, PDP, LP, APGA, and Accord. Others are PPA, UPP, PDM, SDP and KOWA.