Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu on Wednesday collected the nomination form for the governorship ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.
Edo state governorship election is slated for September 19, 2020.
Ize-Iyamu last Tuesday night was declared the consensus candidate of the party by a screening committee shortly after he secured the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) waiver to contest the party primary slated for June 22, 2020,
Addressing newsmen after obtaining the nomination form in Abuja, the governorship hopeful said he was in the race to develop the state and take it to the next level. He also confirmed that six other aspirants have thrown their weight behind his ambition.
Hear him: “We mean well for our state. I want to tell you that most of us are not hungry. We are not looking for positions simply because we are looking for something to occupy us. Many of us are very passionate about the development of the State and even though what we have is an APC Government but we are not too happy with the pace of development.
“We are not happy with the rancour, we are not happy with the division, the insecurity in State and that cannot augur well for development. It is better that we change the incumbent and ensure that our party remains in office”.
On his emergency as a consensus candidate, Ize-Iyamu said the decision was a product of many months of discussions between seven aspirants before he was unanimously endorsed by others.
Tracing his emergency as consensus candidate, the governorship hopeful said, “the process has been on for quite a while some even thought it could not work but because of the caliber of those involved, it has worked and some days ago we had our last meeting and the remaining seven of us we resolved that before picking the form we should agree on one person and support the person not just with our mouths but with our pockets and so we decided to put money together to support whoever we chose.
“I am happy to announce that at the end of the day I was chosen amongst this formidable group some of them are here but one or two have to leave because they have other engagements”.
Aspirants that endorsed Ize-Iyamu include a former deputy governor, Pius Odubu and former People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Gen. Charles Arhievare,. Others are Engr. Chris Ogenwonyi, Hon. E. J. Agbonayinma and Hon. Saturday Iuwuilekhue.
On his touted endorsement by the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, the aspirant debunked the insinuation stressing that the Oshiomole is a father of all and doubt if he would want to endorse anybody until after the primary.
According to him, “the National Chairman can not endorse me by the virtue of his office. He can not take the risk of taking sides in matters like that. So the National Chairman is clearly out of it. By the grace of God by the time we are candidate we can enjoy the full support of the party leadership,” he anticipated.
On the support of the party’s National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the aspirant said, “I have not seen him for a long time, if you are telling me that he is supporting me I will appreciate the information and of course too for the President”
He was however appreciative of the endorsement, key leaders from the state in the National Assembly. He was particular about Hon.Akapatason, the Deputy Leader who was in attendance on behalf of the APC Caucus in the National Assembly.
Ize-Iyamu said he was not adverse to any format adopted for the party primary slated for next month. According to him, “If they want us to do indirect so be it, if they want us to do direct so be it. If you want to use the Covid-19 situation what should be recommended really is direct because the direct decentralizes the system. Meanwhile indirect will congregate people in one place in thousands to come and vote”.
Earlier, the National Organising Secretary of the party, Barrister Emmanuel Ibidero assured all aspirants of a level playing ground as the party would be fair to all. “The social media has been awashed with a lot of comments, but I want you assure you that contrary to what people may think, I am very optimistic that the forthcoming primary will prove this party as a party who will be far to all concern.
“The processes that will lead to the primaries will be so transparent that whoever wins we know that he has won and whoever loses, it will be obvious that you have lost”.
The National Organising Secreary then urged all aspirants to see this contest as a game. He advised them to fight and ensure that the party to retain Edo state.