The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the presidency has admitted that the APC candidate in the Edo governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, is actually corrupt as being alleged.
President Muhammadu Buhari and his APC government have come under serious criticism from the main opposition party following Friday’s endorsement of Ize-Iyamu by Buhari as governorship candidate for Edo.
Ize-Iyamu is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside Lucky Imasuen, former deputy governor of Edo State, Chief Dan Orbih, PDP Chairman in Edo, and other leaders of the party in the state over a N700 million case.
Reacting to the seething attacks, Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, called on the PDP to purged itself of corruption and other malfeasance before criticizing Buhari’s endorsement of the party’s candidate.
Shehu, in the statement, called on the PDP to first withdraw the governorship nominations it gave to Ahmadu Fintiri and Bala Mohammed of Adamawa and Bauchi States respectively, who were facing corruption charges before their election in 2019 before criticizing the efforts of Buhari’s administration in fighting corruption.
However, the PDP in counter-reaction, said that the ‘defensive statement’ by the presidency alluded that Ize-Iyamu is actually corrupt as being alleged.
Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the party, in the statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, says the Buhari Presidency’s response to public uproar over the visit of the APC candidate in the Edo governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, is an acceptance that the APC candidate is corrupt as alleged.
According to the PDP, the response by the Buhari Presidency also reinforced allegations by sacked national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, that “the APC candidate is a person of questionable character who is unfit to hold office as governor of Edo state”.
The PDP noted that with its defence and endorsement of a person it is prosecuting for corruption, the Buhari Presidency has confirmed that it is not fighting corruption, contrary to its promises, but had become a safe haven for corrupt persons.
The PDP berated the Buhari Presidency for referring to unrelated cases and struggling to justify its widely condemned endorsement of an individual it is prosecuting for corruption.
“By its response, the Buhari Presidency has turned itself into a defender of corruption and advocate for persons charged for corrupt acts in our country.
“Yet, this is Presidency that claimed to have zero tolerance for corruption; pretended that it cannot eat with corrupt people with the longest of spoons, only to be found struggling to justify why it is swimming in an ocean of corruption.
“Moreover, beyond the case in court, this is an individual, that APC former national chairman had openly described as a thief, treasury looter, acid bather and who, according to Oshiomhole, is only fit for “night meetings” and not for the position of the governor of Edo state.
The PDP said such stance by the Buhari Presidency is an assault on the sensibilities of the people of Edo state, who have openly registered their rejection of Ize-Iyamu.
Furthermore, “our party notes the absence of President Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other top officials of the APC administration at Ize-Iyamu’s campaign flag off, apparently to dissociate themselves and the government from his baggage of corruption allegation.
“This last minute stunt has exposed the pretence of Buhari Presidency towards the fight against corruption and further exposed Ize-Iyamu as described by Oshiomhole.
It is imperative to place on record that the people of Edo state have already made up their minds to reelect Governor Godwin Obaseki, come September 19″.