By Osahon Osahon
President Muhammadu Buhari’s endorsement of the Edo State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu shows that the anti-corruption fights of his administration remain a lip service, the Edo PDP Campaign Council, has claimed.
PDP said if President Buhari was sincere about his administration’s war against corruption, he would not have endorsed Pastor Ize-Iyamu who is currently facing multi-million Naira corruption charges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The council in a statement signed by Chris Nehikhare, described the meeting between Mr. President and the APC governorship candidate as a dent on Buhari’s image as it compromises the integrity of his fight against corruption.
It said the meeting and subsequent endorsement of Ize-Iyamu makes mockery of the President’s belief in the fight against corruption.
Buhari on Friday received his party’s flagbearer in Edo in Abuja where he expressed optimism that the party will win the September 19 governorship election in the state.
But the PDP Campaign Council condemned in strong term the meeting, citing the fact that Ize-Iyamu was undergoing prosecution in the hands of the anti-corruption agency, EFCC.
The statement read, “Our attention has been drawn to the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Edo State gubernatorial election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
“This meeting is ill-advised and a dent on the image of President Buhari, whose administration is known for the spirited fight against the hydra-headed monster called corruption, which has encumbered the development of our dear country for decades.
“Unknown to President Buhari and his advisers, the APC gubernatorial candidate is desperately in need of an endorsement from someone like the President, to shore up his battered image in Edo State and the larger court of public opinion that have followed Ize-Iyamu’s trial very closely.”
The statement recalled that Ize-Iyamu is currently being tried for money laundering to the tune of N700 million, before Honourable Justice J. M. Umar, of the Federal High Court in Benin City, Edo State, with suit No. FHC/BE21C/ 2016.
“It is our considered view that associating with a man with this corruption baggage (alleged), compromises the integrity of the President’s fight against corruption and sends mixed signals to Nigerians, home and abroad as well as other nationals who have invested enormous faith in the President’s fight against corruption”
Meanwhile, the Edo State APC Campaign Council Director of Finance, Charity Amanyevbo, has described President Muhammad Buhari’s meeting and presentation of the APC flag to Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, as has the highest endorsement and a call to duty to retrieve Edo state for the APC in the September 19 governorship election.
He gave this indication on Friday when he received the Association of Past Political Office Holders in Edo state as they endorsed APC candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu for Governor.
He said, “As we speak, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is receiving the highest endorsement from the President Muhammad Buhari who formally handed him the party flag at the Aso rock, signifying that he is the candidate of the APC for the Edo governorship elections.