•Battles Obaseki on Sept 10
•Ogiemwonyi, Imansuangbon rejects APC primaries’ results
EBOJELE PATRICK, Benin and FEMI-OLUSOLA IKUGBAYIGBE
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, yesterday emerged the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the September 10 governorship election in Edo state
In the result of the primaries announced by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state and Chairman of the committee that conducted the exercise, Ize-Iyamu polled 584 votes to defeat two other aspirants, Hon. Mathew Iduoriyekemwen, who scored 91 votes while Chief Solomon Edebiri polled 38 votes.
Umahi said that 713 delegates were accredited for the primaries from a total delegates’ list of 751, adding that there were no invalid votes.
Presenting Ize-Iyamu to the party members he thanked all PDP governors and members for their support which led to the success of the exercise.
In his acceptance speech, Ize-Iyamu commended the national leadership of the party and the electoral committee for transparency and fairness in the process.
He said that the fight to reclaim Edo from the APC would continue until the party produced the governor in the September 10 election.
Shortly before the collation of results, the three aspirants said that they were satisfied with the process, describing it as transparent, free and fair.
Ize-Iyamu was a former Secretary to the State Government during former governor of the state, Chief Lucky Igbinedion’s PDP administration.
He was also the former South-South leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) before defecting to the PDP in 2014.
Meanwhile, Ize-Iyamu has assured the party faithful, that the PDP will win the state in the forth coming gubernatorial election in September.
Delivering his acceptance speech at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium; Benin City as the party flag bearer yesterday, he promised to do all within his disposal to defeat the ruling APC candidate in the September election.
He thanked the state party chairman for his leadership neutrality in the election process.
“Anyone who starts pointing accusing finger on our chairman is not being fair because the chairman did not support any aspirant throughout the election process.
Calling on other contestants to support him in the race to deliver the state from APC, he said there was no winner and no loser in the primary election, describing it as a family affair.
“Today’s primary, there is no winner and there is no loser, it is a family affairs. The two other contestants have congratulated me and assured me of their support before they left, so I can assure you that we are going to work together.”
He urged members of the party and Edo people to go back to their various wards to participate on the voters registration exercise and also appealed to those who had registered to collect their permanent voters’ cards.
He thanked the Eboyi State Governor, who was the electoral returning officer and other electoral officers for a job well done.
“Let me first thank the Eboyi State Governor. You have been here since yesterday and make sure you gave us all that we needed to know and today you did what Professor Attahiru Jega (former INEC chairman) could not do, you practically supervised and monitored the contest from accreditation to voting and you make sure that the voting was transparent. I also thank members of the electoral personnel, I assured you that by the time you visit this state in December a PDP Governor will welcome you.”
Meanwhile, two aspirants in the just concluded All Progressives Congress, APC Governorship primaries in Edo state have rejected the outcome of the result in which Mr. Godwin Obaseki was declared the winner.
The aggrieved aspirants, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi and Barrister Kenneth Imansuangbon both have alleged electronic rigging
In a joint press briefing yesterday at the campaign secretariat of Ogiemwonyi in Benin, the aspirants called on the national leadership of the party and APC Edo state Primaries Appeal Panel to order the repeat and resorting of all the ballots papers, used for the primaries.
They also called for the forensic analysis of the ballot papers and the finger print on the ballot papers.
Ogiemwonyi who spoke on behalf of Imansuangbon said a criminal investigation has become necessary because the party members hold the view that no one individual or group should be allowed to destroy the good image of APC and its leadership that is committed to free and fair primaries and Internal democracy and democratization in Nigeria
He said that the announcement of the final result immediately provoked a general condemnation and rejection of the results by delegates of the primaries.
“The delegates are unanimous that the figures that were allocated to the various aspirants were electronically manipulated and in clear contradiction of the pattern of their votes for their preferred aspirants.
“The smuggling of non delegates into the venue of the primary to vote was a sign of desperate measures by the Governor and its agent. They were successful in this bid because Edo state government was in full control of the venue of the primary
“The open and direct interference into the voting process by the Edo state Governor Adams Oshiomhole, on several occasions took the protest of some of us aspirants and the intervention of the Chairman of the Primaries Committee, Alhaji Aminu Masari to persuade the Edo state Governor to stay away from the table that was meant for the thumb printing of ballot papers by the delegates. The Governor did not pretend over his desire to intimidate the voters
Ogiemwonyi said: “This affected the confidence we have in the national leadership to conduct free and fair primaries and our loyalty to the party and patience to tolerate the visible desperation of the agents of Edo state government to undermine the philosophy of the APC in the conduct of free and fair primaries.”