- Unveils SIMPLE agenda
By Shola Oyeyipo
Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, yesterday told party members and supporters that his election as the APC standard bearer for September 19 governorship election in Edo State was an opportunity for them to get it right this time.
The APC candidate, who described the process that produced him as a reference point, also seized the frenzy of the moment to unveil his agenda themed SIMPLE.
Addressing party members after an election in which he emerged victorious in a landslide, Ize-Iyamu said, “This time, we must get it right. And the work to make this a reality must continue with revitalized passion and zeal. Our victory today is only the beginning. We must now all come together, renew our loyalty to the party, and march with sturdy strides on this new path that beckons.”
While first thanking God for a successful conduct of the primaries and the safety of APC members, including officials of all agencies, who took part across the state, Ize-Iyamu also thanked the APC leaders, “President Muhammadu Buhari for his fatherly disposition and democratic stance that set the stage for a free and transparent contestation devoid of institutional bias, favoritism, or imposition of any kind.”
He contended that the bold insistence on adherence to the constitution of the party, even amid immense pressure, was a great show of leadership that served as a reminder to all that the APC is a party founded on sacred values central to its growth and survival.
“My grateful thanks also go to the Edo State Traditional Council led by Our great King, Omo’ N’ Oba N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpo, The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II for the fatherly counsel and important interventions. I wish to reiterate my deep respect and undying loyalty to the institution.
“To the election committee chaired by His Excellency, the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma for organizing a primary election that allowed the members of our party in the state to elect a candidate in a responsible, safe, fair, and transparent process, I convey my deepest gratitude,” he said.
According to him, “From the start, with the adoption of the direct mode of primary, our party showed its recognition of the peculiarity of the times we are in and its commitment to complying with all regulations and guidelines in place to ensure that our people are protected from danger, specifically the coronavirus disease.
“Today, because of the hard work of the committee, the cooperation of INEC, observers, and all security agencies, that desire got full expression as members of our party, whose conduct was admirable and responsible, participated in a primary that will form a point of reference to all on how to practice democracy without compromising safety procedures in the fight against a viral disease.
“I am grateful to everyone for their support, most especially my fellow aspirants who shunned the politics of bitter opposition and displayed the level of maturity and sportsmanship never before seen in the history of this country.
“Against an incumbent government that tested the resolve and unity of our party using morally bankrupt tactics without any regard for the rule of law, we were able to prevail because Dr. Pius Odubu, Hon. Osaro Obazee, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, General Charles Airhavbere (rtd), Hon. Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma, Hon. Saturday Uwuilekwe and Professor Ebegue Amadasun showed great leadership and fought a good fight premised on the shared understanding that we are all on the same side, confronting and seeking to undo the many failures of an administration that betrayed our people and the values of our party.
“I am very grateful to them and I look forward to working with them as we return to the streets and homes of our people, to restore and strengthen their hope and faith in the party, the All Progressives Congress, and return Edo state back on the path of development and growth.”
Ize-Iyamu said yesterday’s “victory is not for me alone. It is a victory for democracy, for the rule of law, and for our party, the All Progressives Congress. To everyone who played a part in making it possible; to my family, my campaign team, support groups at home and in the diaspora, members of our party, and all Edo people, I say thank you.
“Receiving your endorsement and nomination to represent our party in the Governorship election is one of the greatest honors of my life. I find myself joyous but as well aware of the faith reposed in me by you all. Most importantly, I feel the weight of that trust and the great need not to disappoint all of you who deemed me worthy of the honor to fly the banner of our great party and be your representative at the polls.
“The agenda remains SIMPLE in the literal sense of those alphabets as I renew my pledge to devote myself to moving this state forward by bringing new ways and innovative methods in: Security and Social Welfare, Infrastructural Development and Urban Renewal, Manpower Development and Training, Public-Private Partnership, Leadership by Example, and Employment Creation and Social Empowerment Scheme.”