The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is mounting pressure on its candidate in last Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to accept his defeat by Governor Godwin Obaseki, who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ize-Iyamu was met yesterday in Abuja by APC Chairman of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, and his Kogi State counterpart, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
The closed-door meeting with Ize-Iyamu took place at the Abuja residence of Buni.
Following the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari and the party leadership to congratulate Obaseki, it was gathered that the leadership of the party is persuading Ize-Iyamu to accept in good faith the outcome of the election.
The meeting was the first public outing of Ize-Iyamu since he lost the governorship election.
Although the agenda of the meeting was not disclosed, a source privy to the meeting said it was part of the efforts to persuade Ize-Iyamu to accept the outcome of the election.
The meeting also reportedly discussed the way forward for Ize-Iyamu.
APC leadership had through a statement signed by Buni congratulated Obaseki.
It said: “September 19, 2020, Edo State governorship election is over, the winner has been declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the person of Mr. Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). We hereby congratulate the winner of the election, the people of Edo State and all Nigerians.
The peaceful conduct of the election and its outcome represent a victory for Nigeria’s democracy.”
Buhari had also congratulated Edo State governor for his victory in the governorship election and charged him to be magnanimous in victory.
Oshiomhole: Life Goes On
In a related development, APC former National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday spoke for the first time since the defeat of candidate, Ize-Iyamu, saying he’s not down and that life goes on.
The former national chairman was a major actor during the gubernatorial poll.
In a viral video, Oshiomhole, who emerged from what appeared to be a gym, where he had gone for his physical fitness exercises, stated that contrary to the belief by certain persons that the loss at the poll had made him downcast, he said he was still up and well.
In a 107-second video posted by Gee TV, the former governor of Edo State urged his supporters not to lose faith in Nigeria, noting that his faith in God remains unshaken.
He added that no matter the outcome of the election, the country must continue to strengthen the democratic process, saying everyone must work to make the country great.
He said: “In life, there’s a super-highway; you work hard and leave the outcome to God. You continue to do your best and trust God to bless your efforts. I feel good and I feel healthy. I thank God, I feel strong.
“In life, you win some and lose some, but life goes on. I want to thank everybody. I am sure a lot of people are saying comrade is down. No, I am not down. Once God says you are not down, you are not down and I am not down.”
Oshiomhole lauded Edo people for their perseverance in the rain and in the sun during the hectic campaigns, saying he was inspired by the actions of both his young and old supporters.
He added: “I thank the Edo people for all they did over the past two, three, four, six weeks, under the rain and under the sun – young ladies carrying babies on their backs.
“I saw elderly women struggling to see my small face and on election day. I was moved to tears when I saw women of 70, 75 years sitting down because the card readers were not working and they were not frustrated. It hit me that if at their age you don’t give up, why should I give up.
“I ask our people to have faith in our country because we don’t have another country. I have only one passport. I am not going to apply for any other passport. This is our country, we must make it great.
“We must strengthen democracy, we must improve on it, no matter the outcome of an election or a particular edition of a process, have faith in God and have faith in our country.”