We will Meet in the Field, Ize-Iyamu Tells Obaseki

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• I will use Lagos model to develop Edo, says APC candidate

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has congratulated his All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on his recent nomination as the standard-bearer of his party, saying he looks forward to meeting him in the field for an issue-based campaign that seeks to address hunger, poverty, crimes and unemployment.

In a statement issued by the media unit of the Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation yesterday, the PDP candidate also wondered why the out-going Governor of the state, Adams Oshiomhole, was still behaving as if he is seeking a third-term in the office.

According to the statement, “A week after Obaseki emerged as the candidate of the APC, it is interesting to note however that Oshiomhole still speaks as though he is the candidate running for elections. Is Obaseki not a grown man? Why can’t he begin to speak for himself or is this a sign of things to come?’’

The campaign organisation advised the electorate to thoroughly scrutinise the candidate soliciting for their votes before deciding who to support, adding that Edo State will stoutly reject a puppet being sponsored by Oshiomhole in conjunction with some external investors for their selfish interest.

Ize-Iyamu said he was ready to submit himself for any scrutiny from any angle and ever ready to defend all his noble activities in the past.

The campaign organisation also described the recent statement credited to Oshiomhole that the anti-graft agency would abort Ize-Iyamu’s governorship aspiration as unfortunate, saying he was being driven by fear of Ize-Iyamu emergence.
Meanwhile, Obaseki, has said promised to use the Lagos State model to develop Edo State if elected in the September 10 governorship election.

Fielding questions from journalists during an interview in Benin-City yesterday, the APC governorship hopeful said he would use technology to run government to create efficiency and save cost.
“My administration will create the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive and create employment.
“I will introduce the Lagos model where I will focus on governance and allow others to manage politics”, Obaseki said, promising to expand agriculture and employ more people into the state’s civil service.
Obaseki, who said people’s attitude towards him made him to come up with a plan to help him achieve victory at the party’s primary last Saturday, dismissed the tag of imposition of his candidacy, saying such cannot take place when democracy is about choice.

“When the state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, cast his lot with me, people tagged it imposition. But imposition cannot take place when democracy is about choice.
“This attitude made me sit back and come up with a plan to start meeting with each delegate in every ward in the 18 local government areas of the state,” he stated, adding that the interaction created a bond between him and the delegates.
Speaking further, he said: “Since most people recognised me, it was easier for them to vote for me when they saw my photograph on the ballot paper. I ran the delegates’ election like a full blown election.”

On effort to reconcile with some of his co-contestants at the party primaries, Obaseki said he has already met with the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Odubu, and Charles Airhiavbere, both whom had agreed to work with him and for the party, explaining that he would meet with other co-contestants to achieve total reconciliation for the party ahead of the September 10 gubernatorial election, even as he promised to get inputs of the former aspirants into his Campaign Organisation.

The APC governorship candidate while welcoming his PDP counterpart, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, on board, advised that they should conduct their campaigns in a very civilized manner, adding: “In my campaign, my duty is to convince the Edo people why I am the better candidate
He disclosed that the issue of his running mate would be decided by the party at the appropriate time.