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Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu Debate As Edo Election Draws Near

Channels Television  
Updated September 13, 2020

 

It’s less than a week to the Edo State Governorship election and candidates have been pitching their manifestos to voters.

On Friday, five of the candidates participated in a debate organised by Channels Television, making a variety of promises if elected.

READ ALSO: [Edo Poll] Five Candidates Make Their Case In Debate

Today, incumbent Governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Godwin Obaseki, will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with main challenger, candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in another debate organised by Channels Television.

Both candidates, Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu, contested in the 2016 version of the election with the former coming out tops.

The stage is set for the debate, which is being held in Benin-city, the Edo state capital.
The stage is set for the debate, which is being held in Benin-city, the Edo state capital.

 

In what is widely considered as a rematch, the circumstances couldn’t have been more different from 2016. Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu have switched political allegiances, with the former moving from the APC to the PDP after Ize-Iyamu switched sides. Also, former Edo Governor and APC Chieftain, Adams Oshiomhole, who backed Obaseki in 2016, has been campaigning for Ize-Iyamu.

Both candidates have toured the state in a campaign season sometimes marred by violence and hateful rhetoric.

The debate is scheduled to start at 7:00 pm (WAT) and will be streamed online.

 

The debate is scheduled to start at 7:00 pm (WAT)

 

LIVE UPDATES

19:00 pm: Both Candidates, Godwin Obaseki and Osagie Ize-Iyamu arrive for the debate.

19:05 pm: Everyone rises for the national anthem.

 


 

19:07 pm: Both candidates talk about why they want to be elected governor.

 


Cross section of the audience at the Edo State Governorship Debate on September 13, 2020.

 

 

19:30 pm: On Taxation,

Ize-Iyamu: We need to Abolish multiple taxation.

So many people are not in the tax net. We are going to support businesses to grow.

Obaseki: Pay as you earn accounts for the largest amount of taxes. What we have done is to try and expand that net.

We have also used technology to ensure that for the low income tax payers, we make it easy for them to pay their taxes.


 

19:37 pm: On Economic Agenda:

Obaseki: My predecessor in office borrowed recklessly and the Federal Government had to restructure all the debts had been taken before I came into office. The Federal Government restructured outstanding obligations to Edo State to the tune of almost N30 billion and that is what was responsible for adding to the debt stock not the borrowings from this administration.

 

 

Ize-Iyamu: It is scandalous to attribute the huge debt to a predecessor that you were the Chief Economic Adviser to.

Sometimes you seem to forget the role you played in the past government.

In the agricultural sector, the loan that the governor has collected is staggering the failed SUBE Project, two million went down the drain. The Agenegbode Rice Project, five billion went down the drain.

The oil-palm project, he collected N69 billion from the central bank and the money has been shared to cronies. No Edo person has benefitted from that money.


 

19:43 pm Is the Civil Service Over bloated/Will you cut down on the workforce?

Obaseki: No, but the problem is that it is overbloated. we need to bring in more people to work for government, smarter people and we need to train them.

Ize-Iyamu: No. I think the model that the governor has tried to adopt, is to reduce the workforce to the barest minimum. But unfortunately, whatever savings he thinks he is making, is not seen in capital projects.

The only vote that has been recorded is his security votes which has increased by over 100% but yet, there is no serious investment in the security sector.


20:34 pm: Agriculture Revolution Plan

Obaseki: We never knew COVID-19 will come we never knew that oil prices will be affected this way, but we were fortunate to have started what we called the agipreneur scheme where we as government tried to create the enabling environment for farming and agriculture to thrive.

We helped farmers de-risk farming, by that I mean, we reved some of the risks such as land preparation, getting the right services, fertilizers, seeds and the management and even getting people who were never in the business of agric to be interested. Today we have 5,000 of such people.

The other action we have taken after COVID, is to have a data base of farmers in various communities and we have our extension workers support them with fertilisers, improved seedlings and most imoortsntly support them with off-take.

 

Ize-Iyamu: Farming is one area that I’m very passionate about. The agricultural investment in this adminstration is very disastrous.

As at today, what do you know Edo for? Nothing. So when he says they have invested so much In Agriculture, its only in theory perhaps.

Read Also: We Need A Complementary Force’: Ize-Iyamu, Obaseki Agree On Community Policing

We are going to invest in small scale farmers and commercial farming because farming is the way to go and wit the right investment, our farmers can turn our state to a food belt.

Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu hug it out at the end of the debate.

 


Thank you for following this live update. For detailed stories from the debate, you can check our website.