The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the just concluded Edo State governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, hinted yesterday of seeking legal redress on the outcome of the election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Governor Godwin Obaseki, winner of the governorship poll in Edo State, having secured the highest votes in the election.
Obaseki secured 307,955 votes across 18 local government areas while Ize-Iyamu of the APC) polled 223,619 votes.
But in a congratulatory message he wrote to the people of Edo State, to mark the nation’s 60th Independence Anniversary yesterday, Ize-Iyamu said since the election ended, many people had sought to know from him what his next line of action would be.
He stated: “But then, the question is after September 19, what next? We owe you an explanation of the way forward. Indeed, not a few have been bombarding us with this question. Well, we have kept quiet so far, not because we are bad losers, as some unfairly presumed. It’s rather because no matter the situation, we are staunch soldiers of the rule of law and due process.
“Suffice it to say that, with due sensitivity to the feelings of our people, we are busy collating our facts. Only after can we speak and speak authoritatively, in the best tradition of the rule of law, fairness to all and due process. We will brief you all in good time and that time is near.
“In the course of our methodical approach, not a few deem to have pre-empted our course of action; and pleaded that we do not proceed to the courts to challenge the election results.
“While that cannot be dismissed as an entirely bad plea, what I can say is that whatever action we subsequently take would be rooted in due process and the rule of law. We will exercise every right available to us under the law, given the electoral facts at our disposal.
“Even as we speak, our people should know that PDP and their agents and privies have instituted 13 law suits against my running mate and I. None of them have they discontinued after the election. So, if the PDP don’t pass up their rights under the law, why should we, in APC, do so?
“So, we are at liberty to pursue any legal option we deem fit so long as the peace of Edo, our beloved homeland, is not threatened. So, until you hear from us, I beseech our members to remain peaceful and law-abiding. Let us enjoy the rare pleasure of our nation clocking 60.
“So, until you hear from us, I beseech our members to remain peaceful and law-abiding. Let us enjoy the rare pleasure of our nation clocking 60.”
Ize-Iyamu gave the history of the creation Mid-West from Western Region, Bendel and the present Edo State which he said has a common identity, felicitated with everyone, “from the Oba of Benin, and our other revered monarchs, in the Edo traditional council, to the humblest of” the people.
He continued: “I must also commend President Muhammadu Buhari for providing a level playing field for all candidates, irrespective of party affiliations. At least, after the Edo election, democracy wasn’t declared to be in the intensive care unit (ICU), as our PDP friends would have shrieked, had they lost the election! That is democratic spirit the president displayed during and after September 19.
“But let me especially salute our members, and loyal APC leaders, who resolutely stood by us. We will forever appreciate your devotion and sacrifice. You did your noble duty and did enough to enhance our cause. We cannot thank you enough”.