PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, urged leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the campaign team to do all that is necessary, and follow legal and constitutional means to win the forthcoming governorship election in Edo state slated for September 19.
President Buhari gave the order when he received the APC governorship candidate for the election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who was presented to him by the Chairman, APC Caretaker/National Convention Planning Committee, Mai Mala Buni, alongside the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum and governor of Kebbi, Atiku Abubakar as well as Governor Abdullahi Ganduje at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
President Buhari, who personally presented the APC flag to Pastor Ize-Iyamu warned party leaders to avoid the pitfalls that affected the party’s victory in Rivers, Zamfara and Bayelsa states in the 2019 elections, pointing out that with the resolution of the “acute crisis” in the party in Edo State, he was optimistic that the party will regain its pride of place in winning elections, and serving the people.
He urged party leaders at the national and state levels to follow the electoral process in an open and transparent manner, adding, “What I want is a transparent process so that the confidence of the people will be strengthened.”
The president congratulated Pastor Ize-Iyamu on his emergence as the party’s candidate in Edo State after a “turbulent process”, assuring him of full support.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, who presented the candidate, told the President that: “Pastor Ize- Iyamu is a seasoned grassroots politician who is loved by his people”, noting President Buhari’s blessings on the candidate further validates the party’s confidence.
The Chairman of the APC Edo State gubernatorial campaign, Governor Ganduje, said in line with the principles of the party the APC will lead a clean campaign, devoid of acrimony, hatred and violence.
Governor Ganduje said the campaign had started on a good and happy note, with the APC already taking over the state legislature with a majority of 17 out of 24.
In his response, Pastor Ize-Iyamu assured the President of his commitment to ensuring good governance in the state if elected in September elections, recalling that he served as Deputy Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee of the APC at its formation.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu said he was glad to return to the APC, describing his initial exit as that of a “prodigal son”.
The APC candidate thanked the President for the warm and fatherly reception, saying he was honoured to receive the party’s flag from the President.