Ize-Iyamu picks Edo PDP’s ticket for Sept 10 guber poll
• We’ll rescue party from those who want to destroy it, says Makarfi
All is now set for the September 10, 2016 governorship election in Edo State as Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has won an overwhelming victory to emerge the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) having scored 584 votes to defeat his two opponents: Matthew Iduoriyekemwen who polled 91 votes and Solomon Edebiri who scored 38 votes.
He will face Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC).Fears that the leadership crisis at the national level of the party could reflect in the state as the former Borno State Governor, Modu Sheriff- led faction of the party was said to be planning a parallel primary turned out to be baseless.
Meanwhile, Interim Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi has said that machinery has been put in place to rescue the party from the hands of those who plan to destroy it,
The Edo PDP governorship primary however, turned out a hitch-free exercise as each of the aspirants was allowed to talk to the candidates before voting commenced.
Chairman of the election committee, Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi had assured the delegates that his committee would conduct a credible primary that would produce a candidate that would defeat the APC.
He had assured the party had no preferred candidate but would ensure a free and fair primary that would produce a candidate that will have the interest of the Edo people at heart.
Declaring the result, Umahi, said: ” The total number of delegates for the election was 751 but 713 turned up for accreditation.Out of this number, Pastor Ize Iyamu scored 584 votes, Solomon Edebiri polled 38 while Mathew Iduoriyekemwen scored 91. With this result, Pastor Osagie Ize- Iyamu is declared winner of the primary,”
In his speech thereafter, Ize- Iyamu, said there was no winner or loser in the primary as they were going to work together in ensuring that the party wins the September 10 election.
He said the PDP would not sleep until power is taken from the APC, adding that the primary which produced him as flag bearer is a sign of better things to come.
Makarfi who spoke in an interview yesterday, on the lingering political logjam in PDP and Sheriff’s attitude, said that it was unfortunate that the constitution, rules and regulations of PDP were not followed when Sheriff joined the party and later became the acting Chairman.
Stressing that the crisis in the party was unfortunate, Makarfi however remarked: “You cannot deny anybody coming into the PDP no matter their background. So, that should not be an issue. But,if it’s somebody you don’t know much about and you give him authority, you may find it difficult to relate with such a person being new in the system because it may take him time to know who and who are in the party and how it functions. You can say that.
But, of course the party also has a standard regulation that you need to be there for two years before you get elected or you are given a waiver. I think it was part of the mistake the PDP has been making.
They rush into certain decision, without thinking it through and that is really the price of not following our constitution, rules and regulations to the letter.And I hope we have learnt our lessons and would avoid that in future.”
Makarfi stressed that series of peace moves were made and emissaries sent to Sheriff to ensure that sanity prevails in PDP but
he stood his ground while he continued to lay claim to the leadership of the party.Said Makarfi: “ He keeps saying his mandate is till 2018; whose mandate, I don’t know.
“However, tenure or no tenure, the national convention of the party has power to elect or remove.There are two types of removal. One, vote of no confidence could be a reason and removal without giving any cause and the convention in Port Hacourt did that to the letter.”
It removed every national officer with a view to bringing together the various groups that were beginning to deviate from PDP. “Again, the argument that the convention in Port Harcourt was called off cannot stand.
Who has the power to call of a convention? It is only National Executive Council (NEC) and there was no NEC since the last one that took place in Abuja. You don’t address a press conference somewhere to say that you are suspending convention. But, this is for the court to go through and decide.”
Makarfi also pointed out that his mission as interim chairman has been to bring order and political sanity into PDP with the support of all stakeholders in the party.
He said: “The issue is that I don’t represent myself. I represent all the governors, I represent virtually 99 percent of our party’s national assembly members, I represent virtually 99 percent of the Board of Trustees members, I represent virtually 99 percent of the
State chapters of the PDP”.
“We just want peace and I just pray that he looks at all these and accepts peace.” Meanwhile, on the confusion that followed the taking over the PDP
headquarters in Abuja, Senator Makarfi said: “It was an unfortunate situation. But again, that was why government was concerned with what was happening.
They have right to be concerned. And that was why there was a meeting on Thursday, Friday and there was a resolution.It was a unanimous resolution from us that in the interim closure of the secretariat is in the best interest of everybody, while we constitute the eight-man committee to try to find political solution.”