Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, on Friday, led other PDP leaders and supporters in the state in a street protest against the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the September 28 election in the state.
The PDP candidate, who had vowed to lead the Friday protest, made good his promise, and was joined by his running mate, John Yakubu, Edo PDP chairman Dan Orbih, a social activist, Rev Olu Martins, and some other Edo PDP leaders in a road march.
The protesters started at Akpakpava Road and took their street demonstrations to many parts of the Benin metropolis such as 2nd East Circular Road, New Lagos Road, Mission Road, Dawson Road and the Ring Road.
In his address before they embarked on the street protests, Ize-Iyamu encouraged his supporters to be long suffering because the journey to recovering the stolen mandate will be a long one from the electoral tribunal to the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court, expressing confidence that they shall prevail at the end.
He pointed out that he was certain of victory because he won the election and that God has told him not to walk away but to “pursue and recover” his mandate that the INEC and the APC robbed him and his party.
He called for the arrest of one Osakpamwan Eriyo, alias Nomoless, pointing out that the individual, seeing that he had lost election in his unit and ward, proceeded to the ward collation centre at George Idah Primary School in Benin and disrupted proceeding and ensured that the result of the unit was cancelled.
He said, “We want to put the police on notice that if they do not arrest him (Osakpamwan) in the next few days, we want to tell them that we have the capacity to arrest their thugs.
“Edo is in a state of mourning like a graveyard because the people’s mandate has been taken and the people have been robbed.
“But let me assure you that that at the end of the day we will win, because God has said so. We will win because Edo people voted for us and we won the election”.
Also speaking the state PDP chairman, Dan Orbih, called on the INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu and INEC commissioner to resign because of the way the Edo governorship election was conducted, adding that the PDP will explore every legal means to reclaim the mandate.
The protest tagged, “Mother of all Protests”, was coordinated by the Centre for Patriotic Leadership Initiative (CPLI), a leadership and rights advocacy NGO, led by Saint Moses Eromonsele and a coalition of civil society groups led by Messrs Kola Edopkayi and Olu Martins.