Edo gov race: We stand by our endorsement of Ize-Iyamu —Uromi monarch

The Onojie of Uromi, in Edo State, Anslem Okojie, has debunked media reports quoting him to have cast aspersion on the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, saying Uromi’s endorsement of Iyamu’s candidature remained inviolable.

The traditional ruler was reacting to the report on the visit of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Mr Godwin Obaseki, which he said misrepresented his views on Ize-Iyamu.

The Onojie, in a statement made available to newsmen, and signed by the secretary of Uromi Traditional Council, Chief Oza Francis, said that contrary to claims by the APC that he [Onojie] said Pastor Ize-Iyamu could not be trusted to be governor due to PDP’s track record of underdevelopment in Esan land, the endorsement of Ize-Iyamu remained valid.

He dared the leadership of the APC and its campaign organisation to produce the video evidence of their visit showing where he made the statement.

“Let it be noted that the Onojie of Uromi never said the following during the visit of Governor Adams Oshiomhole and his entourage to the palace: That he does not trust Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to be the governor of Edo State, but rather, that Ize Iyamu was welcome to his palace 30 times a day if he wants because they are personal friends.

“That Chief Tony Anenih cannot control him, but rather that Chief Anenih is an illustrious son of Esan land and Uromi in particular, and we are so proud of him.

“That the PDP had made many unfulfilled promises in Esan land.”

The statement also clarified that the traditional ruler did not make any reference to PDP’s past administration in his speech, and that the traditional ruler told the APC visitors that 29 Enijies, including the Onojie of Opoji, unanimously endorsed the candidacy of Ize-Iyamu, adding that they still stand by their decision.

On the reported sharing of N6 million among the Enijies, the statement further clarified that the traditional ruler’s explanation was as a result of the falsehood allegedly being spread by the Onojie of Opoji that he was not part of the endorsement of Pastor Ize-Iyamu by the Enijies in Esan land.