Ahead of the September 10 Edo State governorship election, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are now on the warpath over the use of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium following allegation by the latter that the ruling party stopped the usage of the stadium for the flagging off of its governorship campaign billed for Monday.
At a media briefing held at the Edo State secretariat of the PDP, state chairman, Dan Orbih, said after receiving approval from the state Ministry of Sports for the usage of the stadium for the Monday flag-off, they received words that the approval had been cancelled.
Orbih, who was flanked by the governorship candidate of the PDP, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, said following the development, the party has found a new venue at the Baptist Convention ground in Benin, adding that “hundreds of Oshiomhole cannot stop the flagging off on Monday.”
He added that the party had earlier informed Edo people about the venue and the event, while adequate arrangement and advertorials had been put across informing people of the event before they were denied usage of the stadium.
On the leadership crisis affecting the PDP, Orbih said with the various judgements delivered on the matter so far, it was clear for everyone to see that Senator Ahmed Makarfi was the constitutionaly recognised caretaker chairman of the PDP.
He accused Governor Adams Oshiomhole of sponsoring Thursday’s factional PDP primary election held in Edo State, describing the event as “a gathering of APC members, who voted for a suspended PDP member.”
Also speaking, Ize-Iyamu, who regretted the action of the Edo State government, said opinion poll has shown that the PDP will win the September 10 governorship election resoundingly, adding that 20,000 seats would be moved to the new venue of the flag off.
However, Edo State Commissioner for Sports, Priestley Ediagbonya, refuted PDP’s claim that the state government denied the party use of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, adding that he only received PDP’s letter dated June 28, 2016, for the use of the stadium on Friday.
Ediagbonya, who said the letter got to the registry of the Ministry of Sports on June 28, said he could not look into requests made to his ministry on Thursday as he spent the good part of the day attending a party’s function.
He showed the last request by the PDP for the use of the stadium dated June 7, 2016, and approved June 8, 2016, to defend his claim that his Ministry has never declined the PDP approval to use the stadium.
He was, however, silent if the PDP’s request will be eventually granted.