In apparent reaction to criticisms of the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in fielding Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who is currently standing trial with four others as its governorship candidate, his campaign organisation, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organization (POI), said on Thursday that there was no moral burden on the party for taking that decision.
‘There is no moral burden for the All Progressives Congress to bear in fielding a founding member of the party who enjoys tremendous support in all 18 LGAs of Edo State and emerged from a peaceful and democratic process hailed nationally and beyond,’ Director of Communication and Media of the campaign organization, John Mayaki, said in a statement in Benin City.
‘Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is an unblemished candidate respected by all. The case that has been distorted and unfairly tied to Pastor Ize-Iyamu for political reasons has to do with the EFCC investigations of how the PDP managed privately-sourced campaign funds in 2015.
‘Tony Aziegbeni, who is the present PDP Chairman in Edo State, and Dan Orbih, his predecessor, are both parties to the case. If there is any moral burden to be borne, it is for the PDP. Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has gone on the record to clarify things and we are sure he will be cleared soon by the court because there is no evidence of wrongdoing.
‘We understand the tendency for other political parties to zero in on Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu because of his position as the leading candidate well-positioned to win the election. Everywhere you go today in Edo State, all you will hear is POI. But in the interest of governance, at least until September when the Obaseki-administration is sacked at the polls, we believe attention should be paid to how Obaseki managed to obtain the PDP ticket days after the party and its aspirants roundly condemned him a failure.
‘Other parties should join us in getting to the bottom of the 15 billion naira payment made to tax collectors, the source of that money, and how Obaseki intends to solicit for votes on a platform he publicly vilified as a deformed party led by dunces, and on the back of an administration so incompetent and divided, majority of his aides are presently being held hostage to halt the spate of mass resignations,’ the statement read.