Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu Attack Each Other Over Certificate, Cultism Claim

 

Governorship Candidates of the two Major Parties in Edo State were on Sunday at each other’s throats raising claims and counter-claims in their bid to position themselves ahead of the September 19 polls.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu threw some dirt on each other on Sunday when they participated in the governorship debate put together by Channels Television and its partners.

At the event, the candidates came at each other with several allegations. The most heated attacks, however, bordered on their educational qualifications, and alleged participation in cultism.


Under Four Years We Created 157,000 Jobs – Gov Obaseki

Obaseki ‘Wasted Over 75bn’ On Projects That Were Not Well Thought Out, Says Ize-Iyamu


 

When in June Obaseki dumped the APC after his disqualification from participating in the primary that produced Ize-Iyamu as the flag-bearer of the party, there were claims that the governor was disqualified based on certain bordered on inconsistencies in his certificate.

Reacting to these claims at the debate arena in Benin, the Edo State capital, the governor said, “it is very ironic that someone who has no certificate can stand up and comment on someone whose certificate was issued by the premier university in Nigeria. That is a very sad situation that we have found ourselves in as a country.

“In 1976 when I gained admission into the University of Ibadan, there was no JAMB; you could either go into the university through prelim or through Direct Entry in your advanced level examination. I finished my O Level and my Advanced Level and it was As, so I gained admission into the University of Ibadan in 1976.

“I don’t know what has happened but for the University of Ibadan, the standard is still very high and they have come out to say that I graduated from that university. How else do you want to make that clear?

“It is very sad that in a country like Nigeria, some people who do not have the qualifications, have the effrontery to challenge the qualifications of those who went to proper schools. It is sad.”


Where Are The Jobs? Ize-Iyamu Challenges Obaseki On Job Creation Claim

Edo Election: My Predecessor Borrowed Recklessly, Says Obaseki

Ize-Iyamu’s Thinking About Governance Has To Change, Says Obaseki


Similarly, Mr. Ize-Iyamu the APC candidate has been accused of partaking in some occultic activity that led to his expulsion while an undergraduate at the University of Benin, but the pastor described the allegation as a ploy to dent his character ahead of the polls.

He said, “I graduated from the University of Benin. I was very active in the students’ union and my records are clear.

“People have alleged that when you were in school, you did that but I think they should go to the university authorities and find out exactly what was the offence. If you do something very criminal, the university cannot even handle it. And I am proud that throughout my stay, I was not engaged in any criminal matter.”

Reacting to the Obaseki certificate issue, Ize-Iyamu said no one doubts that Obaseki went to the university, adding that the issue is that the governor failed by his own records.

“You failed school cert, you had three credits, no English, no Maths, even to enter A’ Level would have been difficult.

“And if you got A-Level, why is it that you’ve not been able to present the A-Level, where is the result? That is a moral question. A lot of people are looking up to you as a governor and as a leader.

“The question is that you failed your A-Level and that is why you were disqualified and your disqualification arose from information from the PDP, your party now, provided. Because the PDP, when I was contesting against you (in 2016) said you have no results. Why have you not answered the question? Where are your results?”

Viewers who tuned in for the two-hour debate between Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the APC and Governor Godwin Obaseki of the PDP on Sunday witnessed first hand the disagreements and issues that have seen the state witnessed one of the most controversial campaigns in recent years.

Both candidates, widely believed to be leading candidates for the September 19 election, disagreed on virtually every issue – job creation, debt profile, governance, qualification, and the facts that they built their plans on.

Beyond a handshake at the start of the debate, they would only agree on the need for community policing and the importance of a refinery project, the latter still sparked some disagreement.

Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu Debate As Edo Election Draws Near

 

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.

Ize-Iyamu Asks Obaseki To Set Aside His Anger And Return To APC

 

 

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has called on Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State to sheathe his sword and return to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Pastor Ize-Iyamu made the appeal on Monday in Benin City, Edo State after he emerged as the governorship candidate of the APC for the September 19, 2020 poll in the South-South State.

According to him, Governor Obaseki should “set aside his anger” and return to the APC, adding that it will be a mistake for him (Obaseki) to leave the party.

READ ALSO: Buhari, APC Governors Meet Over Party Crisis

He argued that there are bound to be issues in “every family” and that it would be bad for Obaseki to leave the APC due to some disagreements.

‘Family’ Issue

“I will like to appeal to him to return to the party,” he said. “In every family, you have disagreements; let it not be said that it was this disagreement that pushed him out.”

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2016 Edo election said he made “that mistake before and I have come to realize it was a grievous error and I would not want him as an elder brother to make the same mistake.”

Furthermore, he said Obaseki’s defection to the PDP is not the best choice, assuring that he would work with him (Obaseki) for the betterment of Edo State if he returns.

Pastor Ize-Iyamu explained that in the “APC, he (Obaseki) is recognized as a leader but in the new party you are going to, it will be difficult for them to accept you as a leader.

“It would be nice for him to come back and we are ready to work with him and all well-meaning Edo people.”

‘Atmosphere of Peace’

The APC governorship candidate called on Edo people and political parties to eschew violence during the election campaign, urging them to work in an “atmosphere of peace and love.”

He lamented that the atmosphere in the state has been tensed in the past few months which he admitted had slowed down the pace of development.

The APC also did well in conducting its primary election without violence, according to Ize-Iyamu who lauded members of the party for the peaceful exercise.

PDP ‘Energy’

Obaseki joined the PDP on Friday, June 19, 2020 after quitting the APC and had picked up his PDP membership card at the party’s secretariat in Benin City.

While addressing party officials, the governor said he automatically becomes the PDP leader in the state following his defection.

Obaseki also reiterated his commitment to providing what he described as quality leadership, adding that he is ready to lead the party to victory in the governorship election.

He noted that “the energy I see in this party is the kind of energy I require to take Edo to the level we should go to next.”

Edo Governorship Election: PDP Candidate Rejects Election Results

Osagie-Ize-IyamuThe candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu has rejected the results announced so far by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on the just concluded Edo State governorship election.

The PDP candidate alleged inducement of voters and collaboration of INEC and the state government to doctor the results in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said they decided not to wait for the full result to be called because they were already been informed about what is playing out now.

So far about 17 local government areas have been announced, with the PDP trailing the APC 5 to 12 local governments.

The APC won in Akoko-Edo LGA, Ikpoba-Okha, Etsako West, Etsako East, Etsako Cenral, Owan East LGA, Ovia North LGA, Oredo LGA, Uhunwomnde,  Igueben LGA, Egor LGA, Owan West LGA

While the PDP won in Esan North Central, Esan West LGA, Orhionmwon LGA, Esan South East LGA, Esan North East LGA.

Earlier, some protesters contested the results being announced, alleging that the results are not a reflection of what transpired at the polling units.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has described the rejection of the state governorship election results by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as quote; an act of a bad loser.

Chairman of the Edo State APC Chapter, the Mr Anselm Ojezua, says the entire process of the election had been nothing but peaceful. he adds that though the announcement of the results is still ongoing, he commends INEC so far.

Mr. Ojezua adds that INEC was efficient in the delivery of materials to ensure that they got to locations on time.

The APC Chairman is also asking the PDP to channel its grievances to the appropriate quarters.

Edo Governorship Poll: Prince Erediauwa Warns Against Hate Campaign

Crown Prince of Benin Kingdom, Prince Eheneden ErediauwaCrown Prince of Benin Kingdom, HRH Prince Eheneden Erediauwa, has urged political parties in the 2016 governorship election in Edo State to promote peace rather than attacking each other during campaigns.

The Edaiken of N’Uselu gave the advice when the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) visited him at his Uselu palace in the Edo State capital, south-south Nigeria.

He assured the PDP delegation of playing a non-partisan role in matters concerning the coming September 10 governorship polls.

“I have tried to reiterate and re-emphasise (that) position of the crown in Benin is non-partisan.

“My appeal (to you is) to please maintain peace and tranquility when you are campaigning,” Prince Erediauwa said.

The PDP governorship candidate, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, said that the party faithful were at the palace to pay homage to the monarch.

“The paramount ruler of this entire kingdom is the Oba of Benin, symbolised by the Crown Prince, Prince Eheneden Erediauwa, the Edaiken N’Uselu.

“We have come this morning to pay homage to him and to inform him formally of our intention to begin campaign in his domain,” he said.

Sheriff’s Group Set For Another PDP Governorship Primaries In Edo

Ali Modu Sheriff, PDP, PlateauIf things go according to plan, another primary election to determine the flag bearer for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the September 2016 governorship election will hold on Wednesday June 29.

This is according to the chairman of the state committee put in place by the faction loyal to the embattled leader of the opposition party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff’, Mr Ebenezer Alabi.

Addressing journalists in Benin City, the capital of Edo State, Mr Alabi said the leadership of the party under Senator Sheriff invoked section 31, sub section two of the party’s constitution to appoint a seven-man committee to conduct a fresh primary election in Edo State.

The decision to have another primary election after one earlier one organised by the Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP that produced Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu as flag bearer further showed deepened crisis in the party trying to regroup after it lost power in the centre to the All  Progressives Congress.

Senator Ali-Modu Sherrif’s faction had issued nomination forms to persons willing to contest in another governorship primary election in Edo State.

A lawmaker representing Egor/Ikpoba Okha Federal Constituency in Edo State, Honourable Ehiozuwa Johnson-Agbonayinma, told reporters that he had picked the nomination form for an election to be organised by the Sherrif’s faction.

Honourable Agbonayinma purchased the form in Abuja.

He later addressed reporters in Benin City on Saturday, stressing that, as a lawmaker he was convinced that the only legally recognised PDP in Nigeria was that headed by Senator Sheriff.

Senator Sheriff had on Thursday set up another committee to conduct primaries for three PDP governorship candidates in Edo State, who have bought forms from his faction.

PDP State Chairmen Pledge Support For Makarfi

MakarfiTwenty-four state chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have pledged their support for the party’s caretaker committee led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi.

The FCT Chairman of the PDP, Mr Yahaya Suleiman who led the delegation expressed concern about the recent development at the national level.

This pledge of allegiance is coming at a time the embattled chairman of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is threatening to annul the results of the congresses that produced the new principal officers in the states.

On his part, Senator Makarfi described the leadership tussle in the party as unfortunate.

Senator Ali-Modu Sherrif’s faction has started issuance of nomination forms to persons willing to contest in another governorship primary election in Edo State.

A lawmaker representing Egor/Ikpoba Okha Federal Constituency in Edo State, Honourable Ehiozuwa Johnson-Agbonayinma, told reporters that he had picked the nomination form for an election to be organised by the Sherrif’s faction.

Honourable Agbonayinma purchased the form in Abuja.

He later addressed reporters in Benin City on Saturday, stressing that, as a lawmaker he was convinced that the only legally recognised PDP in Nigeria was that headed by Senator Sheriff.

Ali Modu Sheriff’s Faction Issues Forms To Candidates For Fresh Edo PDP Primaries

Ali Modu Sherif on Edo State PrimariesThe crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is continuing, as the Senator Ali-Modu Sherrif’s faction has started issuance of nomination forms to persons willing to contest in another governorship primary election in Edo State.

A lawmaker representing Egor/Ikpoba Okha Federal Constituency in Edo State, Honourable Ehiozuwa Johnson-Agbonayinma, told reporters that he had picked the nomination form for an election to be organised by the Sherrif’s faction.

Honourable Agbonayinma purchased the form in Abuja.

He later addressed reporters in Benin City on Saturday, stressing that, as a lawmaker he was convinced that the only legally recognised PDP in Nigeria was that headed by Senator Sheriff.

Leadership Crisis

The Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP had conducted its Edo State governorship primary election on Monday, June 20 which produced Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu as flag bearer for the PDP.

Senator Sheriff had on Thursday set up another committee to conduct primaries for three PDP governorship candidates in Edo State, who have bought forms from his faction.

He said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had sent the party their guidelines for the primaries, expressing preparedness to meet up with all the requirements set by the INEC for the September election.

The PDP is facing leadership crisis, with Senator Sheriff laying claims to the leadership of the party after he was removed at a convention held in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.

After his removal, a caretaker committee was set up led by Senator Makarfi, but Senator Sheriff said his removal violated a court order issued in relation to the party’s convention, which he also claimed nullified every decision taken at that convention.

He insists he is the leader of the party seen as the strongest opposition to the ruling party in Nigeria.

Members of the party have accused him of sabotaging the efforts of the party to reorganise itself after it lost power in the 2015 election to the All  Progressives Congress.