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Edo 2020: Obaseki sweeps Ize-Iyamu, APC from rural communities, Oshiomhole rushes to Abuja for reinforcement



Obaseki celebrates legal victory over APC, commends Appeal Court judgment on certificate forgery suit
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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State is making remarkable progress with the electioneering campaign for the September 19 governorship election in the state. Stakeholders in Edo State told National Daily that Obaseki in the ward to ward campaign adopted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), successfully swept the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and the APC, away from rural communities across the state. The stakeholders disclosed that the grassroots population across various wards acknowledged the achievements of incumbent Governor Obaseki, while using the opportunities of direct interactions with the governor to make fresh demands or receive new promises of government attention and development.

The stakeholders noted that the traditional rulers were not left out. They added that unlike in some other climes, traditional rulers in Esan land, Edo Central, did not hide their partisanship or pretenses. They were said to openly acknowledged the good works of Obaseki while making demands for more development projects in their kingdoms. The royal fathers further declared support for the incumbent governor, promising the votes of the people within their jurisdiction.

National Daily gathered that even in the local government campaign framework of the APC, incumbent Governor Obaseki and the PDP have already penetrated the hinterlands before the arrival of the APC and its candidate for the local government campaign. The governor was said to have rendered accountability of his first tenure and convinced the people on what to expect or he would deliver to them in the second term.

Several Edo stakeholders were of the view that Oshiomhole, Ize-Iyamu and the APC have been struggling with the crisis of distrust and suspicion of putting Edo State up for sale after the election. The Edo people were also said to have continued to reflect on the statements of Oshiomhole against Ize-Iyamu in 2016 which they said the former governor has not been able erase in order to launder the image of the APC candidate. The maintained that those statements have done more damage to the APC candidate, than the candidate is personally portrayed.  Thus, the people have developed deep skepticism against the campaign messages of Oshiomhole and the APC candidate, therefore, issuing the warnings: “Edo is not Lagos;” Edo is not for Sale;” Edo First.”

Apparently, the traditional ruler of Ughoha, Esan South East Local Government Area, Edo State, His Royal Highness, Steven Ukato Odijie, gave currency to the rising profile and increasing legitimacy of incumbent Governor Obaseki in Edo Central. The royal father, hosting Obaseki and the PDP campaign team at his palace during the campaign tour of his jurisdiction on Monday, acknowledged the sterling performance of the governor in all sectors of governance in the state; he assured him of overwhelming  support of the people of Esan land.

For HRH Ukato Odijie, there is no sitting on the fence in the Edo governorship election. He declared: “Come September 19, 2020, Edo people will express their appreciation for the governor’s achievements by re-electing him to consolidate on his administration’s developmental strides.

“Thank you for your good works to Esan people; my people and I will support you. You will get our support to continue your developmental strides across the state.

“This is campaign period; I urge all those contesting the election to ensure they do so in peace and ensure there is no violence on election day.

Governor Obaseki had promised: “Ubiaja-Ughoha road is my priority; I want to inform you that we have awarded the contract and it will commence immediately I win the September 19 governorship election.” The governor further highlighted: “The road is a priority project for my administration as the road will further open the area for more economic activities. The road will be done and constructed in my second term.

“The land issues will be resolved. Our next priority will be agriculture and food production; as we work with you to improve on agriculture and embark on mechanized farming.”

It was gathered that the wide endorsement, declaration of solidarity and support for incumbent Governor Obaseki subsequently narrowed the mobilization space for Oshiomhole and his team. Some Edo stakeholders, therefore, construed Oshiomhole’s urgent visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, as search for reinforcement from the president. The former APC national chairman had rushed to Abuja without the party’s candidate on whose behalf he had purportedly to the president for renewed support.

There are indicators that Governor Obaseki still maintains very cordial relationship with President Buhari even after his defection to the PDP from the APC. Indeed, Oshiomhole’s autocratic decision to disqualify Obaseki from the APC primary election compelled the Edo governor to dump the party, which, therefore, attracted immediate action of recalling Oshiomhole’s suspension as APC national chairman. This was perfected through the judgement of the Court of Appeal.


There is still the fear that Obaseki may return to APC after winning the Edo governorship election.

National Daily will bring you more updates in subsequent reports.

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