Adibe Emenyonu Benin-city
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2016 governorship election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has formerly defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), noting that his defection became expedient following the crisis and uncoordinated nature of the PDP.
He also affirmed a motion moved by three former members of the PDP from the three senatorial districts namely: former Speaker of the state House Assembly, Hon. Bright Omokhodion; former Deputy Speaker, Hon. Festus Ebea, who supported the motion, and Hon. Emma Momoh, that every member of the party should resign immediately and join the APC officially.
According to Ize-Iyamu, “The essence of this official defection is to give clarification to some speculations that we have retired from politics. We are telling them that we are still much in politics and we have come for peace and not to join any faction or cause crisis in APC.
“PDP or any political party is not our enemy. Please refrain from any form of attack that will suggest that we are leaving in bitterness or angrily. We are peace-loving people.”
He reiterated his commitment to work for the success of the APC in the 2020 governorship election in the state, as he called on all his supporters to ensure that they follow him religiously to achieve success for the APC at the state and national level.
The former PDP man said: “Don’t fear because we did what we have done to assist in stabilising the government and bringing development to our people. We are still consulting ahead of the 2020 governorship election in the state. We will work with the party to access government to bring dividends and benefits to our people.
“We have not fixed a date yet to be received into the APC fold but we want to assure our brothers that we are coming back home just like PDP was home for us. APC also remains our original home.”
Ize-Iyamu, who was a former zonal vice chairman of APC before his defection to PDP in 2015 to contest the governorship position, however, did not comment on the N6 billion allegedly paid to the PDP by the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to secure the ticket to contest for the governorship election in the state comes 2020 of which he was allegedly said to have an advance of N3 billion.