Amidst the cheering news of the Port Harcourt ruling that declared Senator Ahmed Makarfi as the legitimate caretaker chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), leaders of the party across the country on Monday, in Benin, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to provide a level-playing field for candidates contesting the September 10 Edo State governorship election.
Among the PDP leaders, who converged on Benin for the flag off were a former Board of Trustees chairman of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih; Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion; Chief Tom Ikimi, Senator Ben Obi, Governor Udom Emmanuel, and the deputy governor of Delta State, Kingsley Otuaro, who represented Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
Others were Senator Matthew Urhoghide, Senator Clifford Odia, former Senators Victor Oyofo and Yisa Braimah, Hon Omosede Igbinedion, Hon Omoreige Ogbeide-Ihama, among several party chieftains who came to associate with the party on the epoch-making event.
In his remark, Chief Tom Ikimi narrated his contributions to the formation of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), appealing to Mr President to repay him back by providing a level playing field during the election.
He recalled how in 2012, he led Governor Adams Oshiomhole to President Goodluck Jonathan to demand for a level-playing field in the governorship election conducted that year, appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to reciprocate the gesture by allowing Edo people to decide their collective destinies themselves.
Senator Odion Ugbesia in his speech said the message given to him was to deliver a quit notice to the APC government in the Edo State government house and hand over the keys to the Osadebey Avenue as represented by the PDP flag to the PDP candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
Speaking on behalf of the PDP BoT, Professor Jerry Gana hailed the choice of Pastor Ize-Iyamu as the PDP’s candidate, saying “this man will be fair; he is godly and displays the capacity to work.”
In his remark, Edo State PDP chairman, Dan Orbih, described Ize-Iyamu as the man who will redeem Edo State from the hardship APC plunged the state into, saying “the problem of Edo State cannot be solved with panadol, it cannot be solved by codeine or common APC. The solution is the only legitimate candidate of the PDP, Pastor Ize-Iyamu.”
Ize-Iyamu, who used the occasion to introduce his running mate to the crowd, Hon John Yakubu, and his wife Dr (Mrs) Idia Ize-Iyamu, a dentist and associate professor at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, vowed to win Edo State for the PDP.
He informed the crowd, who thronged the kick off at the Baptist Convention Hall in Benin, that the Adams Oshiomhole’s government has deceived Edo people for too long and needed to be shown the exit door on September 10.
He said, “we will develop all parts of Edo State. We will not restrict ourselves to building classrooms but will intervene in sports, environment, give scholarships and bursary to indigent students in tertiary institutions of learning and restore the lost glory of Edo State.