A gubernatorial flagbearer has emerged for the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State; he is one of the governorship aspirants jostling for the party’s ticket, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, after the party’s direct primary conducted on Monday.
Ize-Iyamu polled 27,838 votes to beat two other contestants for the APC ticket, with his closest rival, Dr. Pius Obudu, polling 3,776 votes and Mr. Osaro Obaze polling 2,751 votes
Chairman of the Edo State APC Primary Election Committee, Governor Hope Uzodinma, declared Ize-Iyamu the winner of the election after results turned in by the returning officers in the 18 local government areas were collated.
Ize-Iyamu will therefore fly the APC flag in the September 19, 2020 gubernatorial election.
Recall that Ize-Iyamu had said that the voluntary exit of Governor Godwin Obaseki from the party will boost his chances of becoming the next governor of the state.
Asked his feelings about Obaseki’s defection from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ize-Iyamu had said, “Interestingly, only a handful of people are exiting the party with the governor. The majority of party members and leaders in Edo State are happy to see his back because he has been a major barrier to achieving peace and unity. He was going about suspending people, even local council officials, for not supporting him or adopting his combative stance. All of these people are excited he is out.
“His voluntary exit has given room for talks and fence-mending in a conducive atmosphere. Therefore, I do not think it is going to have any negative impact at all. On the contrary, it has helped the party to sharpen its focus, put its house together, and rally loyal and committed members ahead of the election.”
Oh his relationship with the embattled APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, he said that he has a good relationship with the embattled national chairman, adding, “I have a relationship with him that dates back to the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, so it is understandable if some people think that, as a result, we may have a special relationship that gives me an edge.
“However, the truth is that Oshiomhole is a man of process and systems. In addition, like me, the other aspirants have worked with him in the past. In light of these past relationships, many people can be called his men. Dr Odubu was his deputy for eight years, when he served as governor and they maintain a cordial relationship to the best of my knowledge.”