In Edo, Ize-Iyamu Remains the Issue


Despite losing the Edo state governorship election, ‎the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Ize-Iyamu, is still the subject of discourse in the state’s politics, writes Iyobosa Uwugiaren

The Edo State’ s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate in the last year election, Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu (POI), still remains the main subject in the burning narrative of the state politics, in spite of what his supporters described as ‘temporary political setback’ he suffered at the Supreme Court on Monday, to be governor of Edo State.

His legal battle to get the tribunal and the Supreme Court to declare him winner of the September 28, 2016 governorship election was finally brought to a close on Monday, as the apex court affirmed the election of Mr. Godwin Obaseki as the duly elected governor of Edo State.

From all indication, Ize-Iyamu has moved on. ‘’I accept in good faith this decision of the highest court of our country, which affirms Mr. Godwin Obaseki as the governor of Edo State, which began on September 28, 2016’’, he said in a press statement he personally signed.

He thanked his supporters and PDP members for their immense support during his struggle – right from the time of the election till the final judgement, and congratulated the governor, assuring him of his goodwill.

But, in spite of the holdup, political observers in the state believe Ize-Iyamu still remains a key subject in the Edo State’s political discourse. At every public function he attends, including at the Supreme Court on Monday, he is regularly greeted with ‘’the governor-to-be’’—an indication that many of his supporters still believe he will be governor one day.

His house in Ugbo, GRA, Benin City, still plays host to hundreds of his followers, political associates and admirers day after day and his phones have not stopped rigging.

The swelling acceptance of the former Secretary to Edo State government was recently re-gauged when thousands of people visited his house to celebrate his 55th birthday with him against his wish as he has earlier indicated his desire to celebrate his 55th birthday with persons living with disabilities in Edo State.

Nonetheless, he along with his wife still made sure they provided free general medical and dental care for the needy for days to mark his birthday. ‘’It was a moment we can’t afford to forget. The joy and relief our care brought to them (the physically challenged persons), was a great comfort for us’’, Ize Iyamu joyfully stated recently.

‘’Sometimes, it’s easy to throw parties on our birthday and forget to share our moments of joy with the most vulnerable in the society, those who are constantly in need of material things and good health care.’’

Popularly seen as a humanist – a man who is concerned with the needs, well-being, and interests of people, especially the poor by his followers, Ize-Iyamu believes that while parties are also good to celebrate oneself, it comes and goes; but the care people provide for wonderful and special people is unending.

He was thankful to those who stood by him and his wife to make his birthday a memorable one. Interestingly, he shares birthday with his lovely and beautiful wife, Dr. Idia Ize-Iyamu, an Associate Professor at the University of Benin and Consultant Orthodontist with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.

The PDP candidate had appealed to the apex court on 21-ground demanding that he be declared winner of the September 28 2016 gubernatorial election.

Some constitutional lawyers who recently reacted to the judgement of the Court of Appeal averred that the court erred in law and common sense in holding that over voting did not exist where the number of actual voters exceeded the number of the number accredited voters.

Professor of Constitutional Law and Legal Adviser to the PDP in Edo State, Prof. Efosa Omoregie, had criticised the verdict saying, that the tribunal did not even evaluate the charts the petitioner presented to show that if the illegal votes secured by over-voting were removed, the petitioner would be declared the winner. But rather, the tribunal and the Court of Appeal took the pre-determined path of inventing a strange meaning of over-voting despite superior court judgements to the contrary. But the Supreme Court verdict has finally brought the matter to a close.

Ize-Iyamu is an Redeemed Christian Church of God pastor, political figure, former chief of staff and secretary to the Edo state government. He was formerly a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC); the National vice-chairman, South-South Zone of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

He served as Director General of former Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s 2nd term Campaign Organisation, and also the Coordinator of Goodluck/Sambo Campaign Organisation. Ize Iyamu has been honoured by the Benson Idahosa University with an honorary doctorate degree in Public Administration.

Born in Benin City on June 21, 1962, Osagie Ize Iyamu was son of Chief Robert Osayande Ize-Iyamu and Mrs. Magdalene Naghado Ize- Iyamu (née Obasohan), both of blessed memory. His father was a revered high chief of the Oba of Benin, ranking second in command until his demise as the Esogban of Benin. His mother was a trained teacher who later distinguished herself as a very successful trader.

A progeny of a well-known family profoundly rooted in graciousness and with an outstanding record of service to the community and society, His forefather, Chief Odia was the Iyase’N’ohenmwen (Prime Minister) of Benin in the reign of Oba Osemwende (1816 – 1848 A.D). Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s maternal heritage is also of notable repute. His mother’s father was the well-known Obasohan of Akpakpava.

The Osagie Ize-Iyamu family came from the present day Iguododo in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State. The mother of Chief Izevbizua Iyamu, the Obahiagbon of Benin, Osagie’s grandfather was from Usen in Ovia South-West Local Government Area. Remarkably too, Osagie’s father’s mother, Igbinoghene Ize-Iyamu (née Ogiemwanre Obazuwaye) hailed from Ughoton, in Ovia North-East Local Government Area while her mother came from Ute in Ikpoba Okha. The Obasohan N’Akpakpava Family which is Osagie’s maternal family came from Erua of Igieduma Ward, Uhunmwonde Local Government Area.

Late Pa Obasohan, Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s maternal grandfather and the mother of His late Majesty, Oba Erediauwa, were first cousins. His mother’s maternal family is of the Oyeru Family of Oredo Local Government Area.

A most noteworthy aspect of the history of the Ize-Iyamu family is that it holds the record of building and owning the first storey building “Egedege N’Okaro” in the whole of the Mid-Western Region, Nigeria which is the present day Edo and Delta States. It was built in 1906 by Osagie’s great grandfather Late Chief Iyamu, the Inneh of Benin Kingdom. It is in this revered historical house that Osagie Ize-Iyamu grew up under the shadows of inspiration.

He attended St. Joseph Primary School and Ebenezer Nursery and Primary School in Benin City. He had his Secondary education at Edo College the premier secondary school in Edo State and passed out with Grade I—in his West African Examination Council (WAEC) examinations. He attended the University of Benin where he graduated with an LLB (Hons) and proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, Lagos where he bagged the Bachelor of Law (BL).

Osagie Ize-Iyamu is happily married to Pastor (Dr) Idia Ize-Iyamu, a Consultant Orthodontist with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital and a Senior Lecturer in the University of Benin. They are blessed with four children.

Paying tribute to Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu recently, one of his closest aides, Mr. Efe Igbinovia, said his benefactor is one person that is mostly misunderstood by those who aren’t close enough to know him well.

‘’For those of us who have the privilege of God of being very close to him, we see a man who understands that service to Nigeria is the highest calling–whether spiritual or political’’, Mr. Igbinovia stated.

‘’He is a believer of people; he is not afraid to give responsibility when he sees the capability. I have worked very closely with him and we have shared and achieved great heights together. We have also seen disappointments but for him disappointment is just an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.’’

For others very close to him, Osagie Ize Iyamu is someone ‘’moulded with the clay’’ of hard work, and values the principles of diligence, integrity and excellence with strong character to stay on a task until success is attained.


His legal battle to get the tribunal and the Supreme Court to declare him winner of the September 28, 2016 governorship election was finally brought to a close on Monday, as the apex court affirmed the election of Mr. Godwin Obaseki as the duly elected governor of Edo State.