Obaseki visits religious leaders, sues for peace ahead of poll
By Adibe Emenyonu
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Edo State governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has received the blessings of the Enigies in the Benin Kingdom to emerge victorious in the September 19 governorship election.
The event took place yesterday, when Pastor Ize-Iyamu, alongside other leaders of the APC including, Adams Oshiomhole, visited the Enigies at the palace of its President, His Royal Highness, Edomwonyi Iduozee Ogiegbean, the Enigie of Egbaen town, to present the core policies and plans of his campaign manifesto, the SIMPLE agenda.
He lamented the elitist, detached style of administration of the incumbent which, according to him, has resulted in the implementation of wrong policies that failed to address the problems of the people, especially at the grassroots.
This is coming as the Edo State Governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the September 19 governorship election, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, sued for peace among political actors ahead of the forthcoming election.
Ize-Iyamu cited the worsening conditions of security in Edo State, explaining that the governor has failed to tackle the problem due to his poor investment in the security architecture of the state and refusal to work with traditional rulers and community heads closer to the people and in possession of vital intelligence reports.
He also criticised the government’s failure to address the acute shortage of teachers in rural communities across the state.
According to him, most of the schools in the communities have only one teacher, a situation which has resulted in poor performances during national exams and low enrollment.
He promised to reverse these failures and run an inclusive government that will bring needed developments to the grassroots through a respectful partnership with the traditional rulers who are well-versed on local infrastructural needs.
His Royal Highness, Edomwonyi Iduozee Ogiegbean, who spoke on behalf of the Enigies expressed their non-partisanship and gave him their blessings for his governorship bid.
On his part, the former Governor of the State, Oshiomhole who received a warm reception at the event, assured the Enigies that Ize-Iyamu will continue his tradition of regular meetings with the traditional rulers to give an account of his stewardship and seek their inputs in policy formation and implementation.
He apologised for endorsing Governor Obaseki who he criticised for abandoning the projects his administration initiated and for frittering away the trust and resources of the state on ineffectual consultancies and MoUs.
All the Enigies of the Benin Kingdom were at the event, including HRH Edugie. O. Oguigo, the Enigie of Ugo- Niyekorhiomwon, HRH Anthony Osagie, the Enigie of Uruegbe, and HRH Dr. Aiweroghene Iduriase, the Enigie of Eyaen.
Meanwhile, Obaseki, yesterday sued for peace among political actors ahead of the forthcoming election.
The governor made the call when he visited religious leaders in Benin City, the state capital.
Obaseki was accompanied on the visit by his wife, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki; Deputy Governor, Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu; Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie; Chief of Staff, Mr. Osaze Uzamere and other top government functionaries.
He said: “We need peace in Edo State at this time. As you are all witnesses to the build-up of the tension in the state and more than ever before, we need God’s guidance and prayers to make sure that the desire of those that don’t wish Nigeria or Edo State well is not fulfilled.
“We have commenced campaign for the September 19 governorship election. Today, we chose to visit and pray with major religious leaders in the state. As a result of COVID-19, churches are not allowed to host large gatherings, so we decided to pay this private visit to have prayer sessions with the Catholic Archbishop of Benin City, Augustine Obiora Akubueze; Margaret Idahosa of Church of God Mission International, and Rev. Dr. Felix Omobude of the New Covenant Gospel Church, who is also the National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN).
The governor also condoled with Rev. Omobude on the demise of his mother, late Deaconess Aikpitanyi Omobude.
In his response, Omobude urged politicians to play by the rules with the understanding that power comes from God Almighty, noting: “I call on all the political actors to play according to the rules and understand that power comes from above.