Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, has distanced himself from violent attacks in Edo state, saying the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, should be held responsible for attacks in the state.
Ize-Iyamu while addressing journalists on Friday, August 7, 2020, after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari said Obaseki has been beating the drums of war in the state.
In July, 10 persons reportedly sustained injuries after hoodlums disrupted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign rally in Edo with gunshots.
The camps of the two main governorship candidates in the state have, however, been trading blames over recent politically motivated attacks in the state.
Reacting to a question on violence in Edo on Friday, Ize-Iyamu, the APC candidate said his counterpart in the PDP should be held responsible for the attacks.
He said due to the immunity Obaseki enjoys as the state governor, he has threatened to deal with anybody in Edo state.
He said, “On the issue of violence that you mentioned if you ask your correspondents in Edo, it is the governor that has been beating the war drums. My billboards are being vandalised, nobody has touched their own.
“We wrote petitions to the commissioner of police, the Director DSS and they will attest to the fact that on a regular basis they are destroying our billboards. They are the ones that want to make the state ungovernable and I am sure you heard the governor say that himself and his deputy have immunity and so they can deal with anybody.
Ize-Iyamu also accused Obaseki of sponsoring students in the state to disrupt his party’s campaign inauguration on Saturday, August 8, 2020.
“I don’t have immunity, I don’t want to go to jail and it is not in my character to deal with anyone. They did their flag off at the stadium, nobody molested them. This morning I placed a call to the DSS director to tell him that I am aware that the deputy governor has sent money to the student union leaders, appealing to them to come and demonstrate at Ugbowo, which is the route we are taking to our flag off tomorrow (Saturday). Of course, the boys were just looking at him and informed us.
“So we are not beating any war drum, we believe in peace, our president believes in peace, our party leaders believe in peace and we cannot disappoint them.
“So I can assure you that on our part, we will conduct ourselves in a peaceful manner, our campaign will be done peacefully, the elections by the grace of God will be done peaceful. We are only appealing to the PDP and the governor to do the same.”
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has threatened to halt the September 19 governorship election in the state if violence persists.