In a free, fair and peaceful primaries, former Secretary to the Edo state Government and frontline aspirant of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Pastor Osaguie Ize-Iyamu on Monday, emerged winner of the party’s direct primary.
The primaries which were held at the 192 wards was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere as APC faithfuls defiled the early morning downpour to vote for aspirants of their choice.
The Chairman of Edo State Primary Election Committee and Governor Hope Uzodinma , declared Ize-Iyamu winner of the election after collating the results turned in by the returning officers in the 18 local government areas of the state.
The results as announced, Ize-Iyamu pulled 27, 838 votes while his closest rival, Dr Pius Odubu scored 3, 776, while Mr Osaro Obazee pulled 2,751 votes.
With his emergence of Ize-Iyamu is set to face any contender for the September, 19 Governorship elections in the state.
Uzodinma, who thanked Security agencies and the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Johnson Alalibo, for the strict supervision of the exercise.
According to him, the result is a product of results collected from the various wards and local government areas by the returning officers.
Uzodinma noted that three aspirants were cleared to contest the primary , adding that before the primary , words got to the committee that two of the aspirants have withdrawn , ” but in line with the Electoral Act as amended, we decided to go on with the primary election.
He said: “I want to thank members of INEC, and other officers who came to participate in one of the most transparent and clinically delivered primaries. I want to commend the wisdom of the two other aspirants for congratulating the winner.
“Going by what I saw today, it is my hope that the citizens of this state ,under the rain to vote and demonstrate loyalty to our party and if that is replicated in the forthcoming election, there is no doubt in my mind that this state which originally belongs to APC will be returned to APC.
“Out of the 3 aspirants 2 of them issued a notice of withdrawal but we insisted that the election must go on because the people in the field are waiting. Despite the rain people came out in their numbers . We respected the guidelines of the covid 19 as put in place, the election was free and fair. I am committed to our party and will do everything to encourage our members and make sure that Edo is returned to APC”. He noted.
The APC candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in his response to his victory called on the incumbent to return back to the APC for the interest of the state.
” Let me also say too that i want to salute my brother, the governor, Godwin Obaseki, I would like to appeal to him to return to the party. In any family you have disagreement, and let it not be said that it is this disagreement that pushed him out, I made that mistake before and I have come to realize that it was a major error. I would like him to set aside his anger and come back. In APC he is recognized as a leader but in a new party it is difficult. We are ready to work with him and bring peace to our state.
” Our state has become too tense in the last few months and it is not necessary, we are hoping that now that we have completed our primary even though we are going to start our campaign in the next few months let’s do it in a manner that will not jeopardize the lives of our people”.