Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The campaign rally of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, slated for Egor Local Government Area of the state was nearly aborted on Wednesday after the state government allegedly cancelled the approval earlier given for the usage of Olua Primary School as venue of the rally.

Organisers of the rally were said to have put in place logistics and materials needed for the event such as canopies, chairs, stage and a sound system only to receive words from the authorities of the school that they had been directed to cancel the approval earlier given for the usage of the school field for the rally.

Following the turn of event, it was gathered that the organisers were asked to come for a refund of the money they had paid late Tuesday night.

The situation was said to have rattled the organisers of the rally and the leadership of the PDP in the state, who had to quickly look for a another place to host the gathering.

In a message sent to reporters in Benin Tuesday night, the state publicity secretary of the PDP, Chris Nehikhare said, “The Egor LGA rally that was to hold at Olua Primary School on tomorrow Wednesday, July 27, will now hold at Timber Shed along Uselu/Lagos Road. Oshiomhole told them not to allow PDP use the primary school which is public property.”

Nehikhare said the Edo State Government has continued to deny the PDP the use of public places in the state for campaigns, recalling that the PDP was denied the use of Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium for its campaign flag off early this month, while the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been using public schools for its campaign.

When contacted, Edo State Commissioner for Information, Prince Kassim Afegbua, said he was not aware of the development, adding that the state government would not have stopped the PDP from using the school since they were allowed the use of Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium during their party primary election.
“There are procedures for securing public places for events. If they fulfill the requirements, nobody will stop them. We are, however, conscious of campaigns when schools are in session. If the schools were not renovated, will they go there to campaign?”

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