Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, one of the frontline aspirants of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the September 21, 2024 governorship election in Edo State on Saturday, said nobody will stop him from contesting the primary elections of the party.
FIDELINFO reports that Ize-Iyamu was among the 23 aspirants purportedly screened out of contesting the party’s primary elections by a Professor Julius Ihonvbere-led committee in Abuja.
Ize-Iyamu made the remarks at the weekend at Benin Airport while addressing supporters and chieftains from the three senatorial districts in the state that came to welcome him.
He alleged that his purported exclusion from contesting the party’s primaries was orchestrated by those afraid of his person and popularity.
There have been widespread reports that the Professor Julius Ihonvbere-led screening committee had cleared six aspirants and dropped 23 others as not eligible to contest the party’s primaries.
According to him, Ize-Iyamu: “The purported report of my exclusion and other aspirants from contesting the party’s primaries election by the Professor Julius Ihonvbere-led screening panel is ‘mere rumour’.
“The action is orchestrated by those who are afraid of my popularity. I want to assure you that I am in the race and by next week, by the grace of God, I will collect the form. Any Edo person is worthy of the ticket and I am not a stranger. I want to assure you that your support will not be in vain and there is nothing to worry about.”
Continuing, he said: “When you are contesting for an election, there are bound to be intrigues and all kinds of rumours and stories. The highest organ of our party issued a statement through the publicity secretary, particularly on the Edo Governorship election and specifically said that all those who have aspirations to run for governorship should go and collect the form.”
While assuring the supporters and chieftains that only the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, has the power to screen out any aspirant, he disclosed that by next week he will purchase the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms.
He disclosed that some of his supporters have promised to buy the forms for him.
He allayed the supporters’ fears, saying that the NWC has dismissed the committee reports by directing that all aspirants for the governorship race are free to purchase nomination forms.
Ize-Iyamu said his relationship with the former National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, is cordial and advised people to refrain from blaming the ex-Edo governor for wrongdoing.
He said: “My relationship with him is cordial. He is my senior brother and I respect his age. We have worked together for many years. He is the leader of our party and a distinguished senator.
“Nobody should blame him for wrongdoing. If, at all, he had done anything wrong, it is not good of us to castigate him in public. As one family, we have a way of resolving any issue. We should all respect him as our leader and father.”