Battle Royale, As Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu Square Up In Edo | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Battle Royale, As Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu Square Up In Edo

OBASEKI, edo election
Posted: Jun 24, 2016 at 3:49 am   /   by   /   comments (0)





By on Monday June 20, 2016, it became clear to the people of Edo state that the Governorship candidates of the two major political parties have emerged, namely, All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) contending for the governorship seat of the state. The election is scheduled to be held on September 10, 2016 in the 18 local governments of the state.

How Obaseki Clinched APC Ticket

The APC primaries conducted by the electoral committee headed by Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, Governor of Katsina state where Mr. Godwin Obaseki was elected the party’s candidate for the Governorship election. The next day, the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi who headed the Electoral Committee of the PDP primary election announced the results, declaring Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the winner of the PDP primaries. While Pastor Osagie Ize-iyamu got 584 votes out of the 713 votes cast by the delegates, his closest rival Hon. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen scored 91 votes to finish second while Dr. Solomon Edebiri got 38 votes.

The APC primary was contested by 12 aspirants; Godwin Obaseki picked the ticket by scoring 1,608 votes to defeat his closest rival, Dr. Pius Odubu who polled 471. Their scores as announced by Alhaji Masari are as follows: Blessing Agbonmhere five votes, Prof Oserhiemen Osunbor, nine votes, Tina Agbara three votes, Prof. Ebegue Amadasun eight votes, Austin Emuan, seven votes. Peter. Esele., eight, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere 11, Arigbe Osula 10, Chris Ogiemwonyi 137, Pius Odubu 471 and Kenneth Imansuangbon 247.

Alhaji Bello Masari who declared 41 votes invalid said, ”Mr. Godwin Obaseki having secured the highest valid votes had been nominated to carry the party’s flag in the September 10 governorship election in Edo State.

A visibly elated Governor Adams Oshiomhole declared that the party will focus on how to battle other political parties in the state and not the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which he said has several heads now and said that the party will commence campaigns for the general election in earnest now that the party’s flag bearer has emerged in the person of Godwin Obaseki, adding that he will not lose sleep over PDP’s boast of winning the state.

According to him, “Our delegates have spoken, now the party will hit the ground running. There is no PDP in Edo state. Which of the factions, we have one body several heads, even when they were in Federal we defeated them with all their Federal might, so there is no PDP as long as I am concerned.

For me they are lighter than a loaf of bread, but we will go to the election, there are other parties in the state. PDP is not an issue, I don’t think Edo people will forget the crime of PDP in a hurry. Not for the next twenty years in this state. Even when you ask young boys and girls in the state, who is responsible for this bad school they say PDP”.

Who is responsible for this bad hospital, they say PDP. Who is responsible for this bad road PDP, who is responsible for this good road, APC. Even children know that, by the time they become 18 they will continue to vote APC and vote against PDP. We have no fear at all, in fact, we will do better in the next election and kick them out of existence” he declared.

In an acceptance speech, Obaseki said with his nomination as the APC flag bearer, Edo State has commenced another phase in the state’s journey into a brighter future.

According to Obaseki, “with my nomination as APC candidate the state has commenced a future which will define us as a modern and progressive state where every citizen is empowered with  opportunities to live life to its fullness.

I am indeed humbled by this nomination and will like to state that this is our collective victory and thank you all. This is only the beginning as the challenge is for us is to take the contest to the next level. As a party we must continue to work as a team to deliver victory at the September 10 Governorship election.

“And let me assure you that we will win”.

Ize- Iyamu Promises Victory For PDP

The following day which was a Monday, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu won the Edo State PDP Governorship primary to carry the party’s flag in the September 10 polls.

Declaring the results of the election which took place at the Lawn Tennis Court of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state said, “the committee and the party delegates have every cause to thank God for the overwhelming grace that God showered on them. According to him, even when it was going to rain we prayed to God that there will be no rain and I can assure you that 30 minutes after we are gone from this stadium you will see rain in this arena.

That tells you that there is the hand of God is upon today and upon what we are doing. We had the boldness to challenge the weather because we were going to do the bidding of God and that is by being very transparent and being very honest. I want to commend very highly the Chairman of PDP in Edo State, commend the aspirants and the agents of the aspirants.

Now that the work has been done, I want to plead with all the aspirants and the candidate of the party to please support whomever God has chosen so that the will of God will definitely be upheld in the land of Edo State. However, before I declare the result may I please ask INEC to come up and have their copy, we want to thank INEC very highly especially those from Abuja, those from Edo State for their commitment, they never sat down they were moving up and down to ensure the success of the process and here is your own copy as stipulated in the guideline.

In every process of this primary, we carried them along and they duly gave us their satisfaction about the process, so we are very grateful. We also thank the Governor of Delta State very highly who came in person apart from other logistic support to make sure that the primary went very well.

We also thank our brother the Governor of Gombe State who also came in person, we also thank the Governor of Rivers State who gave very serious support and very, very serious support.

The Governor of Gombe state, Ibrahim Hansan Dankwanbo in his brief remark said “Let me seize this opportunity to congratulate the great people of Edo for this wonderful exercise. I have never seen an election so transparent, so well conducted to the extent there was no invalid vote in this exercise. I am hereby, calling on all our party men and women to support whoever is declared today for the purpose of being the flag bearer of our great party in Edo State. PDP has worked, PDP will work and Insha Allah we will win Edo come September 2016.

While the Delta state Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa thanked God for the opportunity given to him to witness the primaries, and said, “from the beginning we have promised our brothers who were in the race that we were going to ensure that we had a free and fair party primaries and I believe that is what we have gotten today. I am so glad because it makes the work much easier and I thank all my brothers who participated in this primaries and I know that they are going to work hand in hand to ensure that we get victory on the 10th of September”.

In his acceptance speech, the winner of the primary, Pastor Osagie Ize- Iyamu   declared

“… I watched when the APC did their primaries, apart from the governor of Katsina who came and the governor of Edo who behaved as if he was contesting I didn’t see any other governor, but in our own case two well educated governors are here, two solid governors are here. Let us put our hands together for the governors of Delta and Gombe States, we are grateful sir. The Ebonyi governor has been acknowledged, he came here to do an official duty.

Please you must appeal to them because very soon they will be admitting a brand new governor and they must teach me the ropes, I look forward to learning from you sir”.

APC Aspirants Reject Result

The self confession of the PDP’s candidate that his two co-aspirants did not wait to congratulate him after the declaration of the result perhaps because of disagreement with the outcome pales into insignificance when compared with the open rejection of the process as demonstrated by two aspirants of the APC. Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi and Barr Kenneth Imasuangbon who called a Press Conference to denounce the result of the primaries.

Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi and Barrister Ken Imasuagbon both aspirants in the just concluded All Progressives Congress governorship primaries in Edo state have rejected the outcome of the result which declared Obaseki winner of the election.

The two aggrieved aspirants have alleged electronic rigging of the polls and called for a forensic investigation and in a joint press briefing on Monday at the campaign Secretariat of Engr Ogiemwonyi, the aspirants called on the National leadership of the party and APC Edo state Primaries Appeal Panel to order the repeat and resorting of all the ballots papers, used for the Primaries. They also called for the Forensic Analysis of the ballot papers and the finger print on the ballot papers.

Engr. Ogiemwonyi who spoke on behalf of Barrister Imansuangbon said a criminal investigation has become necessary because the party members hold the view that no one individual or group should be allowed to destroy the good image of APC and its leadership that is committed to free and fair Primaries ,and Internal democracy and Democratization in Nigeria

Ogiemwonyi said that the announcement of the final result immediately provoked a general condemnation and rejection of the results by delegates of the primary and that the delegates are unanimous that the figures that were allocated to the various Aspirants were electronically manipulated and in clear contradiction of the pattern of their votes for their preferred Aspirants.

“The smuggling of non delegates into the venue of the primary to vote was a sign of desperate measures by the Governor and his agent . They were successful in this bid because Edo state government was in full control of the venue of the primary

The open and direct interference into the voting process by the Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on several occasions evinced the protest of some of the aspirants and the intervention of the Chairman of the Primaries committee, Alhaji Aminu Masari to persuade the Edo state Governor to stay away from the table that was meant for the thumb printing of ballot papers by the delegates. The Governor did not pretend over his desire to intimidate the voters

According to Ogiemwonyi, “This upturns the confidence we have in the National leadership to conduct free and fair Primaries and our loyalty to the party and patience to tolerate the visible desperation of the agents of Edo state government to undermine the philosophy of the APC in the conduct of free and fair Primaries.”

 APC Sets Up Reconcilitaion Committee

Consequently, leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State immediately inaugurated a Reconciliation Committee to reach out to members who may feel aggrieved from the outcome of the gubernatorial primaries of the party held on Saturday, 18 June 2016.

Chairman of the party in the state, Mr. Anselm Ojezua in a statement said the committee will be chaired by Prince Malik Afegbua, Board of Trustees member of the party. Other members of the Reconciliation Committee, according to the statement, are Hon. Lucky Imasuen,  Mr. Austin Omofuma,  Hon. Charles Idahosa,  Hon. Theophilus Okoh, Senator Domingo Obende and Hon. Lawrence Okah.

Ojezua in the statement, said “the Governorship Primaries of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State on Saturday, 18th June 2016 has been the most successful Primaries ever conducted by the APC in Nigeria.  It was peaceful, transparent, free and fair. “We give thanks to the Almighty God, for His comprehensive control of the entire process, our thanks also goes to His Excellency, Alhaji Bello Masari the Governor of Katsina State and Chairman of the committee that conducted the primaries.

Through him, we extend our gratitude to each and every member of the Committee that worked to ensure the successful conduct of the event and we remain eternally grateful to all delegates ably led by the Comrade Governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole for the patience, perseverance and outstanding conduct throughout the process which lasted almost 24 hours.

“The result of the election is a clear indication that the APC in Edo state is strong and united contrary to the falsehood earlier peddled in the media that Edo State APC was in crisis.

I have this morning inaugurated a Reconciliation Committee headed by Prince Malik Afegbua (member BOT) to reach out to all those who may have been affected one way or the other by processes leading to and including the primaries.

This is in order to position the party to confront the general election which comes up on the 10th of September 2016”.