POLITICS

Ize-Iyamu Emerges Edo APC Governorship Candidate_Ada Nkong

Osagie Ize- Iyamu,candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2016 governorship election in Edo State, has emerged the consensus aspirant of the Adams Oshiomhole-led faction of the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC. This means a serious set back for incumbent Obaseki’s ambition.
No fewer than five aspirants were said to have been screened and drilled by a committee headed by Francis Alimikhena, the senator representing Edo North senatorial district in the National Assembly. The committee comprised Lucky Imasuen, former deputy governor in the state in whose private residence the botched mock primary election was held a few weeks ago, Cecil Esekhaigbe, a retired army General, Thomas Okosun, former speaker of the state House of Assembly, and Samson Osagie, former minority whip in the House of Representatives. Also in the committee was Patrick Obahiagbon, former member of the House of Representatives and Peter Akpatason, current deputy leader of the House of Representatives.
Other strong contenders, Pius Odubu, former deputy governor, Chris Ogiemwonyi, former minister of state for works, and Charles Airhiavbere, retired army General, will have to with for the next four years or join another party.
Solomon Edebiri , one of the aspirants had withdrawn from the race Tuesday morning. All the aspirants had earlier formed a coalition against the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki November last year,when they agreed to work with whoever emerges as the consensus aspirant in order to squash the second term bid of the incumbent.
Our source attributed Ize-Iyamu, pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, and former secretary to the state government’s victory to the fact that he has a large following with massive support and acceptability cutting across the state. Leadership of the party was also said to have favoured him because of the tough fight he put up during the 2016 governorship election which had to be tactically postponed when security report favoured his victory. A chieftain of the party, Tony Kabaka Adun had only recently confessed that he actually won the election if not for the “abracadabra” that took place then.
Political observers believe that this contributed to Obaseki’s panic when Ize-Iyamu decided to return to the party and therefore did everything to frustrate the grand reception organized to receive him. He suspected that Oshiomhole decided to woo him back to the party because he felt he was the only formidable candidate that could challenge him. Political watchers had also seen the waiver granted Ize-Iyamu about a week ago clearing the way for him to take part in the party’s primary election as a pointer that he was being tipped as the consensus aspirant.
The screening committee had met all the aspirants individually early Tuesday morning. Its mandate, it was learnt, was to recommend two aspirants out of which one would eventually emerge. The committee was said to have concluded sitting some minutes before 4 pm and the aspirants were told that they would be seen together later in the night where they would be informed of their fate. Oshiomhole who was at his Iyamho country home early in the day to celebrate the Eid-el Fitr with his mother and kinsmen, later returned to Abuja in the evening after which he addressed the aspirants.
According to a source close to the meeting ,hinted the aspirants left the meeting venue shortly before 9 pm after Ize-Iyamu was formally announced.

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