By Adibe Emenyonu
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has emerged the governorship candidate of the Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC), polling 27,838 votes to beat two other aspirants.
The other two aspirants, Dr. Pius Odubu and Mr. Osaro Obaze came second and third with 3,776 votes and 2,324 votes respectively.
Announcing the results, submitted by the 18 Local Government Retiring Officers, who described the direct primary as peaceful and transparent, the chairman of the Committee cn the the Edo APC Governorship Primary and governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, said with the results submitted, Ize-Iyamu was now the candidate of APC for the Edo State Governorship election slated for September 19.
He said, “Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu having scored the highest number of votes cast is hereby returned as the candidate of APC in the Edo State primary election.”
According to him, the result is a product of results collected from the various wards and local government areas by the Returning Officers
Uzodinma noted that three aspirants were cleared to contest the primary, adding that before the primary, words got to the committee that two of the aspirants had withdrawn, “but in line with the Electoral Act as amended, we decided to go on with the primary election.
The governor of Imo State commended security agencies for providing adequate security for those who participated in the exercise which in his words “so far remained one of the most transparent and credible exercise since the present democracy.”
His words: “This is the time to unite all the members of the APC. Sometime ago somebody asked me a question when the problem of APC will end and I told them that every problem has expiry date. And in my humble opinion the day we complete our primaries that day the problem will end. So, I believe that by this process which we have just completed, the party is now on the path of full recovery.”
“We are going to talk to everybody; we are going to bring everybody back. And let me also say that I want to salute my brother the governor of the state, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; I will like to appeal to him to return to the party. In every family we have disagreement, let it not be said that this disagreement pushed him out.
“I have made that mistake before and I have come to realise that it was a grievous error and I don’t want him as a senior brother to make the same mistake. I appeal to him to set aside his anger and come back. In APC he is recognised as a leader but in a new party he is going to it will be difficult to accept you as a leader. So, it will be nice for him to come back but certainly I will work with him and all well-meaning Edo people.
“We believe that it’s time we bring peace to our state. The atmosphere in our state has been tense in the past few months and it is unnecessary. That hostile atmosphere more or less puts a stop to governance. But we are hoping that now we have concluded our primaries even though I have to start campaigns let’s do it in an atmosphere of love and peace.
“Let’s speak on issues rather than personalities; let’s do it in a manner that will not jeopardize the lives of our people. We have shown an example in APC, the government put a law they thought will be inimical to our primaries but we were able to still manage to do the primaries.”