•PDP: You have no moral integrity
Chuks Okocha and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday hinted at what the electioneering for the September 19 Edo State governorship election would look like when both traded hot words.
While the Chairman of the APC National Campaign Council for the state, Mr. Abdullahi Ganduje, promised to dismantle alleged PDP’s rigging machine and send the Chairman of its campaign council, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, to the isolation centre, the main opposition party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, replied that the ruling party’s campaign head was lacking in moral integrity to stand before a decent public.
Ganduje had after the council’s inauguration expressed optimism about the party reclaiming Edo State, which it lost to the opposition party with the defection of the Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.
He told reporters in Abuja shortly after the inauguration of the campaign committee and the reconciliation committees for both Ondo and Edo States that the APC had mapped out a strategy to stop the PDP from winning the governorship election.
He said the party would dismantle the rigging strategy of the PDP in the state.
According to him, the composition of the committee is an indication that the APC is ready for the election and will strive to win the governorship election.
But the PDP yesterday said the confession by the APC governorship candidate for Edo State, Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu, further validated the position by his party’s former national chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, that he is unfit to be a governor.
Ganduje said: “We know the opposition is planning to rig the election; we know their tactics; we know their methodology and we shall dismantle all their tactics to ensure that we win this election.”
Asked if the committee has a soft spot for Obaseki who was their colleague until a few months ago, Ganduje said there was none.
He added: “There is no soft spot for anything like that. The issue is that first of all, we know PDP made Governor Nyesom Wike their chairman; I assure you, we will isolate Wike in an isolation centre and before he recovers, the election is over.
“The PDP decided to accommodate our former governor in Edo State not because they have anything in common; not because they share some ideological feelings, but simply because he is managing the treasury of Edo State and they want him to use that treasury in order to win the election.
“But I assure you, the people of Edo State are watching they know that somebody who was assisted in 2016 to win an election, somebody who was given every cooperation to succeed in the governance of Edo State without doing much for the people, at the end of it, he has taken the treasury and now handed it over to PDP in order to win the election.”
Ganduje said he was optimistic that the people of Edo State would come out en masse to vote for APC.
He stated that the composition of the committee would ensure victory for the party.
He said the campaign council would work with the leadership of the party in Edo State in order to understand the political terrain and know the areas of strength and weaknesses, and areas that the campaign council could take advantage and even areas of threat.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee and the Governor of Yobe State, Mr. Mai Mala Buni, said the assignment before the reconciliation and campaign committees included forging a peaceful and united APC and to reclaim Edo State.
He noted that the members of the reconciliation and campaign council were carefully appointed, adding that this has given hope and confidence that they would succeed.
Buni appealed to stakeholders and members of the party to support the peace initiative of the party for the stronger, united, and prosperous APC.
Ganduje Has No Moral Standing, Says PDP
In a pushback, the PDP described Ganduje as a barefaced treasury looter, who has no moral rectitude to speak on corruption.
The PDP also described as a huge irony that Ganduje, who was seen on a video, with no proven provenance, allegedly stuffing his robe with foreign currency, suspected to be a gratification, could accuse the PDP of corruptive intentions in the Edo State governorship election.
The party, in a statement by Ologbondiyan said it was a paradox that an individual who has earned himself the disgraceful public sobriquet of “gandollar,” after allegedly being caught collecting gratification, would attempt to accuse others of having the intention of looting the treasury of a state.
It said: “Governor Ganduje and other APC leaders are so used to looting public treasury that such is his first mental direction after his inauguration to lead the Edo State governorship campaign.
“Governor Ganduje has further confirmed the real intention of the APC, which is to use their morally embattled candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu (of course, birds of the same feathers flock together) for their desperate effort to regain access to Edo State treasury, after Governor Godwin Obaseki, liberated the state from the stranglehold of APC treasury-looting godfathers.”
PDP: Ize-Iyamu’s Confession Shows He’s Unfit to Be Governor
The PDP has said the confession by Ize-Iyamu that he was a member of a secret club while in the university has validated the position of Oshiomhole that he is unfit to be a governor.
The PDP said from Ize-Iyamu’s confession that he was expelled from the university, Nigerians, and particularly, the people of Edo State are no longer in doubt regarding issues surrounding the personality and conduct of the APC candidate.
It said the expulsion by a panel, which, according to Oshiomhole, was chaired by the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay, had put a permanent stain on Ize-Iyamu as the APC candidate.
PDP added that Nigerians are still waiting for Ize-Iyamu to address why Oshiomhole described him as a person that is only good for ‘night meetings’ and should not be entrusted with the governorship of Edo State.
“Certainly, Edo State, at this critical time, does not deserve a governor who will pull her backward by being weighed down by a huge moral burden of daily excuses and explanations on issues and allegations of misdeeds.
“It is indeed unfortunate that the APC is now stuck with a candidate that is burdened by a huge image problem; a candidate who has no message or any blueprint to develop the state; who does not enjoy the support of the people but that of a few selfish individuals, whose interest is only to gain access to the coffers of the state,” the party stated.
PDP described its candidate, Obaseki, as someone whose personal character and achievements in office stand as indelible testimonials to his love and commitment to the development of the state and wellbeing of the people.
The party said in last four years, Obaseki had initiated and executed programmes and policies that had revived the state’s productive sectors, elevated the living standard of the people, returned transparency and accountability in governance while liberating the state from the stranglehold of corrupt godfathers, who are now allegedly seeking to use Ize-Iyamu’s ticket to regain access to power to continue to exploit the state.