Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 19 Edo State governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, yesterday said President Muhammadu Buhari is aware of the vicious attacks on innocent people and their reputation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), “and is not bothered by the ongoing attempt by the party to use the alleged N700 million fraud before the court to blackmail him.”
The APC governorship hopeful stated this while reacting to a statement by PDP’s agents in a letter to Buhari, pleading with him not to meet with Ize-Iyamu over an alleged corruption he is currently facing at the Federal High Court in Edo State.
According to the APC candidate in a statement issued by his media campaign unit, “Although these faceless persons claim to write on behalf of Edo people at home and in the diaspora, the mendacious claim is exposed by the deluge of endorsements received daily by Ize-Iyamu from the people of Edo State across the world, including prominent members of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s government and family, who are resigning in numbers never seen before because they are convinced of Ize-Iyamu’s integrity, competence, and documented manifesto to move Edo State forward.
‘’We are confident that the president is well-aware of the vicious, unprincipled, and mindless attacks on innocent people and their reputation by the PDP, having been a victim of their flexible principles and morality himself.
‘’Therefore, he needs very little convincing on why their childish demand, alongside the shameful insistence on dragging others into their campaign of calumny to hide the failure of their candidate, stems from their approaching defeat on September 19.”
The statement added that the case brought before Justice J.M. Umar of the High Court in Benin-city, with the suit No. FHC/BE21C/2016 against Ize-Iyamu and four other accused persons is enough reason for the president to turn his back on a candidate, who emerged as the state APC standard bearer at the successful primary election he ratified.
The statement added: “The meddlers also construe that on account of the above non-issues, the president should divorce himself from the candidate whom he asked all organs of the APC at the state and national level to offer all the required support within the ambit of the law to win the election.
‘’The first pointer to the ridiculous nature of the argument, and indeed the entire affair, is that the PDP, having undergone the stress to commission the writing of the laboriously lengthy essay to police and direct the associations of the president, carefully avoided outlining details when it came to naming all those accused in the said case.
“They, instead, settled for the concealing four other accused persons’ line that reveals its contradiction each time it attempts to shamefully weaponise the case against Ize-Iyamu, whose soaring popularity and wide acceptance in the state is responsible for their jitters and sudden interest in letter-writing and literature.’’