By Dirisu Yakubu – Abuja
Ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Edo state, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, campaign council has said the failure of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to hold their campaign grand finale, scheduled for Wednesday (September 16), is a pointer to the defeat that awaits them.
The council in a statement issued by the secretary of its publicity sub-committee, Kola Ologbondiyan said the APC and Ize-Iyamu “have been weighed down and completely overwhelmed by the soaring popularity of Governor Godwin Obaseki across the state and had no option other than to abandon their campaign.”
The statement read in part: “We have been made aware that the APC campaign also collapsed under the weight of a bitter division within their ranks over alleged apprehensions of Ize-Iyamu’s possible disqualification due to unresolved legal issues surrounding his nomination; a development for which very influential APC leaders in Edo state, as well as APC governors, abandoned the campaign.
“Also, the final effort to lift Ize-Iyamu’s campaign with an underhand measure of hiding under the Micro-Enterprise Enhancement Scheme, MEES, to attempt to buy the conscience of voters fell flat as the people of Edo state were quick to see through the plot.
“The campaign became frustrated as governors elected on the platform of APC distanced themselves from Ize-Iyamu campaign on the face of near-global sanctions on those undermining the nation’s electoral process.
“In any case, Ize-Iyamu and his APC failed in their design to hold a grand finale campaign as they have no message for the people of Edo state, particularly after Ize-Iyamu’s dismal performance at Sunday’s election debate, where Governor Obaseki displayed an exceptional presentation of his achievements and plans for the future.
“Our campaign indeed sympathizes with Ize-Iyamu for his rejection by members and leaders of his party, leading to the collapse of his campaign.
“We charge him to hold his political godfather, Adams Oshiomhole, responsible for his woes. We believe Ize-Iyamu should take the next bold step and withdraw from the election.”
The party, however, expressed readiness to receive APC members willing to jump ship, saying “our doors are open to our compatriots in the APC who have indicated their resolve to support Governor Obaseki following the collapse of the APC campaign.”