- The Edo state PDP campaign council says President Buhari's meeting with the Osagie Ize-Iyamu is ill-advised
- The party also said the move is a dent on the president's image as an apostle of anti-corruption
- The PDP said Osagie-Iyamu only visited the president to shore up his battered image
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The Edo state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign council has reacted to the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Edo state gubernatorial election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The party in a statement sent to journalists on Friday, August 7 said Buhari's meeting with the APC candidate is ill-advised and a dent on the president's image.
The statement which was signed by the campaign council's spokesman, Chris Osa Nehikhare, noted that the Buhari's administration is known for its spirited fight against corruption, and should not be seen in public with someone standing trial for corrupt acts.
Part of the statement read: “Unknown to President Buhari and his advisers, the APC gubernatorial candidate is desperately in need of an endorsement from someone like the president, to shore up his battered image in Edo state and the larger court of public opinion that have followed Ize-Iyamu’s trial very closely.
“Ize-Iyamu is currently being tried for money laundering to the tune of N700 million. The matter is before Honourable Justice J. M. Umar at the Federal High Court in Benin city, Edo state, with suit No. FHC/BE21C/ 2016.
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed the case preferring eight-count charges against him and four other accused persons bordering on alleged illegal receipt of public funds to the tune of N700 million for the purpose of the 2015 general elections, contrary to the provisions of the EFCC Act and the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act. His next court date is October 15th.
“It is our considered view that associating with a man with this corruption baggage (alleged) compromises the integrity of the president’s fight against corruption and sends mixed signals to Nigerians, home and abroad as well as other nationals who have invested enormous faith in the president’s fight against corruption.”
The statement described the move as a dangerous precedent, warning that it will embolden other Nigerians with similar or worse charges to hobnob and organise hang-out sessions with the president.
Meanwhile, the special adviser to Edo state governor on media and communication strategy, Crusoe Osagie, has described the manifesto of Pastor Ize-Iyamu as outdated and controversial.
Speaking in Benin city on Tuesday, August 3, Osagie challenged the APC governorship candidate to tell Edo people the plans he has for the state's economy, foisted by COVID-19.
Speaking on Ize-Iyamu's manifesto, the governor's media aide said: “There is no page in the so-called Simple Agenda, written by Dr Don Pedro Obaseki, where a post-COVID economy was mentioned.
“Edo people will not vote for a candidate that is still dwelling on developmental issues of 2016, the year the Simple Agenda was written.”
Read more on the Edo election here.
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