The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State has boasted that it would re-enact during the September 19, 2020 governorship election in the state, the 2015 feat as an opposition party when it sacked the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP from the centre. The APC sent a strong message to the ruling PDP that with its mass acceptance, the general popularity of its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and the sellability of his SIMPLE agenda, the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki must realize he is living on borrowed time.
Appraising the impact of its campaign in Edo North senatorial district at a press conference in Benin, Patrick Obahiagbon, vice chairman, Media and Publicity Committee of the APC National Campaign Council for the Edo 2020 gubernatorial election, said “From all that happened, from what we saw, and from all we can forecast, we are now confident of an overriding and comprehensive victory in Edo North. Not just any victory, but a resounding and energetic victory. It is the type of victory our people would look at and say: ‘this one loud o!’ “
Asserting that its Edo North campaigns have shown who truly owned the land, Obahiagbon commended members that put it all together “and were able to demonstrate mass love for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the APC candidate; and the wide appeal and acceptance of the SIMPLE agenda, his campaign manifesto”.
According to him, “The support was electrifying and amazing; their conduct was simply honourable and enviable. They poured out in their large numbers and waited tirelessly to receive us”. This, he posited, “shows the progressive culture of our party and demonstrates the buy-in, into our party manifesto by the electorate”. In his words, the wide acceptance was “simply glorious.”
He however frowned at alleged attacks on its members by the PDP in Ihievbe, Jattu and Ekpedo, which he said the media must join everyone to condemn. He hailed the courage of APC members, who stood firm against PDP violence in the area, actions he described as “neck-stiff resistance” of open and murderous danger, from PDP “miscreants”.
The PDP had similarly on Sunday condemned in strong terms alleged increasing attacks on its members and supporters by the APC ahead of the September 19, 2020 governorship election, warning that the simplicity and meekness of the party’s candidate must not be taken for granted.
Obahiagbon cited specific instances in which APC members were attacked as Ihievbe where “our podium and canopies were destroyed; Jattu, where our party supporters were dispersed by gun-totting PDP members who drove away our party members from their peaceable assembly by firing gunshots into their midst sporadically and with reckless abandon. Ekpedo is another community where PDP youths shot at our party members and left women, men, and youth severely wounded and hospitalized.”
Calling on the media to beam attention on, and condemn “this senseless and violent attacks on our party members by sponsored PDP thugs”, Obahiagbon chided that the PDP was misguided if it felt such tactics would save it from electoral drubbing on September 19.
The former House of Representatives member said: “We demand that all the institutions and structures necessary for free and fair elections maintain their resolve not to brook any further attempt by the PDP to resort to underhand and anti-democratic stratagems”.
Also accusing the APC of attacking their members, the deputy director-general of PDP Campaign Council, Gideon Ikhine, said during the party’s campaign rally in Ora, Ward 6, Ovia South-West local government area that “Everywhere we go, they will go and destroy our campaign materials and sometimes beat up our supporters”. Reminding the opposition that “The laws and powers are in the hands of the Governor,” Ikhine cautioned that “His simplicity should not be insulted. Is it because he is gentle? Our Governor is gentle like Jesus Christ, but he will be re-elected like a lion”.
Ikhine, who urged eligible voters in the area to vote PDP and protect their votes for continuity, maintained that PDP was sure of victory at the poll due largely to the number of trusted and reliable personalities it parades. “Anybody planning to rig this election should have a re-think as Edo people are ready to defend their votes,” the former governorship aspirant warned.