The PDP candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, yesterday, flagged off his campaign with almost all party notables in the state lining up behind him in a joint resolve to stop the APC from having a third successive stint in the governorship.
Besides, the party grandees in the state, party leaders from outside the state led by the chairman of the caretaker committee, Governors were also present at the carnival-like ceremony which was hurriedly shifted to the grounds of the Baptist Convention grounds in Benin following the refusal by the state administration for it to use the Ogbe Stadium.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, represented the PDP governors in the South while the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Kingsley Otuaro represented Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State. Other dignitaries at the rally included former chairman Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, a member of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Prof. Jerry Gana while Senator Odion Ugbesia represented the National Chairman of the party, Ahmed Makarfi.
Ikimi, who recalled that he was one of those who formed the APC, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to allow a level playing field in the state during the election, asserting “I will campaign with our candidate in the 192 wards of the state, and I appeal to Mr. President to provide a level playing field for this election because Godwin Obaseki (APC guber candidate) has no business in this state.”
He further lambasted Oshiomhole’s administration on its policies, saying that all the governor assertions on performance as a sham. On his part, Senator Ugbesia, who represented Makarfi, presented the PDP flag to Ize-Iyamu saying the was determined to take over the state.According to him “this is a quick notice to Oshiomhole and other occupants of Edo Government House. Today we are going to change the keys to Osadebey Avenue; we have brought a new key which we shall hand over to Ize-Iyamu.”
On his part, Prof. Gana expressed optimism that Ize-Iyamu will bring victory for the PDP and urged the people of the state to support PDP come September 10. “This man will work well, this man will govern well, this man is a Godly man we must all support him.”
Ize-Iyamu, who expressed gratitude to God and PDP supporters, for the opportunity given to him to fly the ticket of the party, said the PDP was blessed with leaders who can change the fortune of the state. He subsequently introduced Mr. John Yakubu, the former chairman of Esan North East Local Government Area as his running mate.
He vowed that the PDP would reclaim the state from the APC, asserting that “ I want to assure you people of Edo state that we shall assist and provide for the less privileged. We shall improve on your welfare, and we shall respect our traditional institutions as the custodians of our heritage.