The Edo State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dan Orbih, has described the mega rally organised at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City by the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday as a send-forth party for the outgoing governor, Adams Oshiomhole and his Party.
Orbih made this declaration on the occasion of PDP’s stakeholders meeting in Benin where the party’s governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, said that he was contesting Saturday’s election to win and be sworn in as Oshiomhole’s successor.
The state chairman, in his welcome address, assured national leaders of the party and south-south governors at the meeting that all the stakeholders in the eighteen local government areas of the state had worked hard with a resolve to lead the party and his candidate to victory in Saturday’s governorship poll.
Ize-Iyamu, who also addressed the meeting, said he was confident of victory for the PDP “as the party which boasts of great leaders like the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion; the Iyasele of Esanland, Chief Tony Anenih; the Oduma of Igueben, Chief Tom Ikimi; and Chief Mike Oghiadomhe to mention a few, cannot afford otherwise on Saturday.”
He stated further: “Many of you know the very vicious fight instigated by external forces – some from our state- that we have been facing at the national level. A lot of the fight we could not fight because it was in Abuja. But we thank God that we had a very dogged national chairman who was also able to block all the antics of those who wanted to frustrate us.”
Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi declared APC dead in Edo and called for a minute silence in its agonising memory, adding that a service of song would be organised for the APC after the Saturday election.
RIvers State Governror, Nyesom Wike, assured voters in the state that Pastor Ize-Iyamu would emerge as the next Edo governor on Saturday, even as he admitted that the battle would not be an easy one.
He, however, asked all party members and leaders to be united, committed and resolved in seeking the victory, arguing that, “PDP is on ground in Edo; therefore, do not be intimidated. We have come to give you the moral support so that you will emerge victorious but you must be united and work as a team because this is your best and last opportunity.”
Describing the election as the battle to liberate Edo he said, “Freedom is not easy to get. When you want to get freedom, you must make sacrifice. The election in Edo means making sacrifice and requires commitment …you will be intimidated; therefore, prepare yourselves.”
He also admonished the stakeholders to be wise in their relationship with security operatives, tasking them to ensure that the right thing was done at every polling unit so that the true results would come out.
Wike urged party agents at all polling units to be alert and attentive at all times and refrain from making excuses that would see the other party manipulating the process.
Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyichukwu Okowa, said that for the past seven and a half years or thereabouts, Edo State, which is a twin brother of Delta, had been in pains, adding that if PDP leaders and stakeholders at all levels joined hands victory would be sure on Saturday.
He stated that Edo people would need to turn out en masse on Election Day to elect a PDP governor in Pastor Ize-Iyamu because in the South-south geopolitical zone Edo State has been left out of the PDP Governors’ family and the state needs to urgently come back to the fold.
According to him, “Edo and Delta are brothers and we are waiting patiently to ensure that we control the two states and those of us in the South-south, we are waiting patiently because we want to have a unified family.
“I have seen it in you, but this boldness that I see must translate to victory on Saturday. We can win all the local government areas of this state. And we must ensure that we are right on ground to defend our votes.”
He added, “In the Bible, in the book of Joshua chapter one, God knew it would be difficult but he told Joshua to be strong and courageous- that is my charge to you.
“I believe you all know that in the last seven and a half years to eight years, it has been pains in Edo and if you want the pains to stop, you must fight not just for yourselves but also for the people and you must mobilize the people to vote, defend the votes and defend the results at the unit level, to the ward and local and even the state level.” Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd.) said that the APC would do everything possible to remain in power but urged the PDP supporters across the state to show them the way out on Saturday.
He said, “the APC has a strategic document called the south-south and North central penetration document. And for the South-South, they clearly stated that when election comes, get all the results and let the PDP go to court and we will appoint the judge.”
Jonah, who represented Governor Seriake Dickson, said that party agents must be proactive and use their mobile devices where necessary to record developments at the polling units, adding that such incidents often stopped malpractices at elections.
According to him, “From what I am seeing and from what I listened to during the debate of the 4 candidates on Channels Television, I am very proud to say that we have a very capable candidate representing us. This is our greatest asset and we must build on it.”
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin, said he was at the meeting with a message of goodwill to Edo people that on Sunday, by the time the results would have been collated and announced, they would have a brand new PDP governor.
He also prayed that God would punish any one or group that would take it upon itself to disrupt the polls in any guise or manner that would affect the will of Edo people.