Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2016 Edo State governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has declared there will be exodus of party leaders and members from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He stated this in apparent reaction to the comments of the state PDP Chairman, Dan Orbih, who had earlier said his (Ize-Iyamu’s) exit from the party would not affect its electoral fortunes in the state.
Ize-Iyamu, who spoke with journalists in Benin, said his movement from PDP to APC generated a lot of controversies, but stressed that the country’s constitution gives him and his supporters the right of association.
“I have my reasons for going back to APC which I contributed in forming. The place I left, some people are not happy and are attempting to throw stones. The same goes for the APC I have joined but I will not retaliate by throwing stones back,” he said.
Ize-Iyamu explained that he was born and has lived all his life in Edo and decided to be one of those to solve the problems of the state, adding that at the time he left APC, he left with anger but that time has healed the wounds and he has returned to the party to add value, strengthen it and ensure the party is connected to the grassroots.
Asked if his return to the APC was not as a result of his desperation for power, the former PDP governorship candidate said people mistake passion and determination in life for desperation, pointing out that one of his major drives in politics is to provide good governance.
“I want to be in a party that want to access government for the purpose of using it to the benefit of the people.
“I am passionate about having a party that would develop Edo State but I am not burning. I am going to APC to add value and strengthen the party,” Ize-Iyamu said.
On the crisis rocking the Edo APC, he said: “It is not as deep as people think, it’s just disagreement among few individuals.”
Meanwhile, immediate past publicity secretary of the Edo APC, Godwin Erhahon, has advised Governor Godwin Obaseki, to “desist from his attempt to rub Hosa Okunbo with the stench of his sweat as he battles to destroy those who made him governor.”
Erhahon, also a former chairman, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) for Edo State, said in a statement in Benin that the governor’s raging campaign of calumny, through his hatchet men, accusing Okunbo of financing his enemies against him, was the latest of his move towards destroying his benefactors.
“At first, they alleged the patriotic industrialist was aspiring to challenge him in next year’s governorship primary of the APC. Okunbor openly debunked the allegation and reassured that as a patriotic, businessman and a loyal subject of the Oba of Benin, he was not interested in occupying any public office, let alone contesting election.
“He vowed his commitment was to the peace and development of Edo State, not to fuel any political crisis.
Long before his open rebuttal of the rumour, I had met Hosa, one-on-one, to probe his speculated interest in the governorship contest and he told me bluntly that he was not interested in the governorship race or any elective office,” Erhahon said.
In another development, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) state chapter Chairman, Sunday Erhahon, has been removed as APC leader in Oduna Ward of Ovia North East Local Government Area of the state
Erhahon, in his reaction, described his removal as a fallacy, saying: “An order has been given to the group that is doing this to retract my purported removal.”