Tony Osauzo, Benin


Imo State governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, yesterday, urged Igbo in Edo State to vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in the governorship election holding next Saturday in the state.

Governor Uzodinma gave the charge in his address to a large gathering of members of the Igbo Youth Union (IYU) and youth wing of the Edo State chapter of Ohaneze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, who bestowed an award on him. The event was held at the auditorium of the University of Benin, in the state capital.

In his speech, Uzodimma said: “Obaseki and his People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have been blackmailing the APC, alleging that we want to rig the election. Meanwhile, that is exactly what he is planning. But, let me tell our Igbo people, go out there and vote for APC. We will protect the votes. We will stop Obaseki from rigging.

“We have many of our brothers and sisters who own businesses in Edo State, but those businesses are suffering today due to the inhuman policies of the PDP administration in Edo.

“As Igbo, you must be vigilant so that people will not deceive you. PDP is coming today begging for your votes just because they need it now, but that is a deceit. This governor does not like the Igbo. They are only coming because of the votes and after that Obaseki will abandon you.

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“Ize-Iyamu is a tested politician that can keep agreement; so we trust him that he will deliver and continue from where Oshiomhole stopped. Oshiomhole employed Igbo during his administration and the pastor will continue with that. He will create an enabling environment for our people to do their businesses.”

Chairman of the Igbo Youth Union, Obinna Anwatu, said that the presence of Governor Uzodimma in Edo State had heightened their determination to deliver APC in the forthcoming election, adding that the award given to the governor was in recognition of his developmental strides across the 27 local government areas in Imo State.

Meanwhile, the Edo State chapter of the PDP, yesterday, raised the alarm over alleged suspicious movement of persons from Lagos and other parts of the country into the state.

State Publicity Secretary of the party, Chris Osa Nehikhare, who spoke on behalf of the PDP Campaign Council in Benin City, said: “We have just been alerted that 10 hummer buses left Ojo Military Cantonment in Lagos for Auchi, Edo State this morning. This is one out of over 10 such calls we have received in the last 48 hours.

“We are liaising with the relevant security agencies to ascertain the mission(s) of those persons flocking to the state and we advise members of the public to watch out for persons whose presence and activities in their neighbourhood are suspicious and report same to the police and other law enforcement agencies,” Nehikhare said in a statement.

He urged various security agencies in the country “to pay more than the usual attention to these movements in order to ensure that Edo voters are insulated from harm before, during and after the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.”