By Emmanuel Adigwe
President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 19 Edo governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the APC and Governor of Yobe, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, confirmed this when he addressed State House correspondents after presenting the APC candidate to the president at the State House, Abuja, on Friday.
He said that Buhari gave his blessings to the candidate.
Buni said: “We are here to present our candidate for Edo election and by the grace of God, the next governor of Edo State, Pastor Ize-Iyamu to the President and leader of the party for his blessings.
“As you are all aware, Pastor Ize-Iyamu is not a greenhorn in Edo politics, he is a grassroots politician loved by his people and he has gone through the transparent process that produced him and the president has endorsed him and the party too has endorsed him.
”So, the president is impressed with his performance so far.”
Also fielding questions from the correspondents, Ize-Iyamu debunked the allegation that 14 members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly sat in his house on Thursday to impeach the Speaker of the House and elect a new leadership.
“Let me debunk the statement that 17 members of the State House of Assembly sat in my sitting room, it is not true,” he said.
He also said that there was no truth in the insinuations that President Buhari did not want to see him, alleging that it was a falsehood being spread by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Also speaking, Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State described his Edo counterpart and candidate of the PDP in the September election, Godwin Obaseki, as a liability to his new party.
He said: “I assure you that governor is a liability. In fact, it’s even better for us that we are contesting with a serving governor who failed woefully.
“He failed woefully in the area of human development. He failed woefully in the area of providing infrastructural facilities to the good people of Edo State.
“He failed most woefully in the execution of constitutional provision in the state, especially pertaining to the legislature, 14 members were out of the legislature for 13 good months.
“When we calculated, we saw those 14 legislators are representing 60 per cent of the population.
“All their constituents are unhappy that elected legislators were not given the chance to participate in the legislations in that state.
“In fact, all the legislations made should be considered as illegal.
”So, we are ready to fight somebody who has failed and it’s an advantage to us,” he said.
Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum and governor of Kebbi, also told the correspondents that all the APC governors were solidly behind the party’s governorship candidates in Edo and Ondo states.
”We have consulted with the chairman of the caretaker committee in putting in place the campaign committee which is ably chaired by the governor of Kano State and supported by other governors.
”Since the candidate emerged, since the ratification, all the APC governors have been working in different ways to ensure the success of our party.
” Let me just remind some of you, this is not different from what we have done before.
”Four years ago we were in the same Edo State in very difficult election and we supported the incumbent governor then, Adams Oshiomhole, to campaign for the party which saw the emergence of Godwin Obaseki as governor.
“What we are doing today is not different.
“For the Progressive Governors Forum, the defining thing is continuity of All Progressives Congress in governance at the federal and across Nigeria and we will support our party any day.
”Our president has made it very clear about his expectations as to deliver our party in any election and that is what we are going to do,” he said.