Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the recently conducted governorship election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has denied being under pressure from party leaders to accept defeat.
The APC governorship candidate has also debunked a report credited to a viral video, where he was begging the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to return to the APC.
He insisted the he has not begged Obaseki to return to APC because he was yet to decide on the next line of action after the governorship election.
Though the APC candidate was actually begging Obaseki as reported, but the video was in a reaction to the APC primary election, where he emerged the winner after Obaseki was disqualified and he left the party.
Ize-Iyamu was defeated by Governor Obaseki, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Saturday’s election adjudged to be free and fair by the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari.
Both the APC and Buhari have since congratulated Obaseki, but the party’s candidate, Ize-Iyamu has insisted that he was yet to decide on the next line of action.
Relying on a dependable party source, THISDAY had reported that the leadership of APC was mounting pressure on its candidate to accept his defeat by Obaseki.
Ize-Iyamu had on Wednesday in Abuja met with the APC Chairman of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, and his Kogi State counterpart, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
THISDAY gathered that the closed-door meeting with Ize-Iyamu took place at the Abuja residence of Buni.
Although the agenda of the meeting was not disclosed, a source privy to the meeting said it was part of the efforts to persuade Ize-Iyamu to accept the outcome of the election.
The meeting also reportedly discussed the way forward for Ize-Iyamu.
But in a swift reaction, Ize-Iyamu in a statement issued yesterday his Director of Communication and Media, Mr. John Mayaki said, “I was shocked this morning when I saw reports saying I begged Obaseki to return to APC after the election. While immediately responding to it, another one emerged. I will restate that I never begged him to return after the election. I deliberately did not reply when I saw all that rumour on the social media with people tagging me in them.
“Now I saw another report in the media stating that APC leaders are mounting pressure on me to accept defeat. In all fairness to the National leadership of my party, they never mounted any pressure on me. So I wonder where their source got information from. The public reposes a lot of trust in the media for authentic information. What happens when this trust is betrayed?”
Meanwhile Ize-Iyamu reiterated his earlier position that he had not yet made up his mind on the next step to take.
“I already tweeted that I am studying the result and consulting widely on my next line of action. Speculative reporting must be condemned. When I make up my mind, I will let my supporters know. For now, patience is what I implore. Not violence, not anger will help us now. Dignity will manifest in how we bounce back from this minor setback,” he said.