By Ozioruva Aliu
The National Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress, APC for the September 19 Governorship election in Edo State, yesterday alleged that Governor Godwin Obaseki has directed that it’s outdoor billboards and campaign posters of its candidate Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyami and his deputy Mallam Hani Audu in the state be removed.
Addressing a press conference in Benin City yesterday, National Vice Chairman of the APC Publicity Committee, Hon Patrick Obahiagbon condemned the alleged director the governor was said to have given to the Managing Director of the Edo state Signage and Advertising Agency, Mr Dave Giwa-Amu.
But the Special Adviser, Media and Communication Strategy to Governor Obaseki, Crusoe Osagie denied the allegation saying Ize-Iyamu was crying wolf when there is none.
Obahiagbon at the press conference said the Council has petitioned the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Johnson Babatunde Kokumo over the allegation which he termed a “criminal act”.
He said, “We are convinced that this act of intolerance, carried out with impunity, foreshadows what the Edo state government has in store for the Edo voters and our supporters in the September 19 Election following the emergence of incontrovertible facts that Mr Godwin Obaseki is on his way to an embarrassing defeat.
“This unfortunate and criminal action took flight on Thursday, the 16th of July, 2020, when the Edo state government allegedly expressly told one Mr Dave Giwa Amu who is parading himself as the Managing director of the Edo state Signage and Advertising Agency, to commence immediate removal and destruction of our billboards.”
He said, “the Edo state Signage and Advertising Agency, purportedly led by the so-called Mr Dave Giwa Amu, an avowed supporter of the incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki, is an agency that is yet to receive the assent of the Edo state House of Assembly as the bill for its creation and operations is still being considered in the legislative chamber.”
“It is unfortunate that as the chief executive of the state who is expected to commit to peace, rule of and avoidance of rancour, Governor Godwin Obaseki has continued to heat up the polity with reckless and provocative comments, media blackmail and criminal actions of intolerance including the mass destruction of opponent’s campaign materials.”
But a statement by Osagie said no billboard of the APC has been pulled down.
He said the claims are “belated antics of a routinely recycled politician who has nothing to offer to Edo people.”
According to him, “Anyone who knows Ize-Iyamu very well knows that this is his approach to politics. He raises the alarm and cries wolf when no one is chasing him. The state government has not removed any of his billboards. This is cheap blackmail to score lame political points.
“He would go back to his cocoon after he has been defeated at the September 19, 2020 election and would most likely resurface after four years to repeat this cycle. So, we are used to his childish charades.”