Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency has told the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), to first remove the log in its eyes for it see the speck in the eye of President Muhammadu Buhari, who the party criticised for endorsing Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the Edo governorship election, claiming that the president’s action was amounts to encouragement of corruption.
It further said that until the opposition party withdraws the governorship nominations it gave to governors Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa and Bala Mohammed of Bauchi States, who were on bail from criminal trial on several counts of fraud and embezzlement, it will not be taken seriously.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the Presidency said a government that fights both past and present corruption with equal gusto, cannot be placed on the same scale with those who, by their words and deeds said corruption is a way of life and Nigerians should learn to live with it.
The Presidency added that Ize-Iyamu, who is being prosecuted by the EFCC alongside Lucky Imasuen, former deputy governor of Edo State, Chief Dan Orbih, PDP Chairman in Edo State and other leaders of the party in the state, Tony Aziegbemi and Efe Erimuoghae, remains innocent until pronounced guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The statement read thus: “The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which has been struggling to clear its name from alleged deals with the underworld in Dubai and the United States has, to our surprise, found the voice to attack the anti-corruption war of the Muhammadu Buhari administration following the President’s endorsement of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the All Progressives Congress, APC’s dashing candidate for the governorship election in Edo State.
“Let PDP first withdraw the governorship nominations it gave to Ahmadu Fintiri and Bala Mohammed of Adamawa and Bauchi States respectively, before it opens its mouth to talk on the efforts of this administration in fighting corruption. Or else, it should shut its mouth forever and leave us to do what it dares not attempt,” Garba said.
Meanwhile, the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare N’Ogidgan II, yesterday thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for endorsing and presenting his party’s flag to the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) candidate in the Edo State governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, insisting that the Benin Palace remains neutral in the politics of the state.
The highly revered monarch stated this when he received the APC’s candidate and the governors elected under the platform of APC, who visited him in his Palace in Benin City, the Edo state capital, during the flag off of the party’s governorship campaign in the state yesterday.
Oba Ewuare who, along with his palace chiefs, prayed and gave Ize-Iyamu the traditional blessing said that even though he was elated over the endorsement of the APC’s candidate by the President, he explained that the Palace of the Oba of Benin does not get involved in partisan politics.
He strongly advised that in order to avoid recurrent socio-political conflict that seems to regularly ravish the state, making the state a laughing stock to the rest of the country on how politicians manage their affairs, Edo political actors should eradicate the evil of political violence.