The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the Edo State governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has endorsed the proposed plan by foreign embassies, prominently the United States of America, to impose visa restrictions on political actors found to have sponsored violence during elections, or involved in acts undermining the electoral process in Nigeria.
Ize-Iyamu said this in a Zoom meeting with a team from the European Union, EU Delegation, American Embassy, British High Commission, Canadian Embassy, and some other EU member States on Tuesday. Ize-Iyamu commended the foreign partners for their contributions toward improving the conduct of elections in Nigeria. He urged them to pursue investigations into acts of electoral violence in the country to uncover the sponsors and instigators as some political actors, after causing mayhem, often resort to media blackmail to blame the violence on others.
He said a case in point was the alleged invasion of the state House of Assembly by the Godwin Obaseki-led Edo State Government with thugs and other elements only to raise a false alarm to mislead the public. Ize-Iyamu demanded a conclusive investigation into the seven persons arrested within the premises of the Edo State House of Assembly Complex with illegal arms on the day of the invasion to uncover their sponsors and the political party they represent.
Responding to a question on the nature of his party’s campaign in the light of COVID-19 pandemic, Ize-Iyamu said they had developed a constantly-revised crowd control measures, including distribution of face masks, sanitizers, and constant temperature checks through infrared thermometers at all campaign events to prevent the spread of the disease. He also said the campaign team had advised aged supporters to avoid campaign events given their vulnerability to the disease.
The APC candidate criticized the incumbent governor’s “rhetoric”, particularly a televised event in which he reportedly bragged of his constitutional immunity. Ize-Iyamu said the governor should not take his immunity as a license to unleash mayhem without consequences, and called for issue-based campaign free of insults and mud-slinging. The pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, said the APC was committed to a free and fair election as they are confident of victory at the polls.