I have read and heard of numerous allegations touching on the public image and reputation of the Edo State Governorship Candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the September 19th Election. These raises public concerns about his pedigrees and suitability to occupy the seat as Governor of Edo State. It is therefore of public interest that some of these issues are carefully and critically examined, one after the other.
It is being rumored in some public quarters that Pst OSAGIE IZE-IYAMU is a member of a Secret Cult. But no one has been able to name the particular secret cult group to which he is a member. Neither has anyone been able to connect him to any involvement in cult activities. It is also being alleged that POI was rusticated by the authorities of the University of Benin as a result of his involvement in cultism, and for bathing his fellow student with acid. But up till JUST NOW, the name Andrew Osagie Ize-Iyamu is nowhere in the Black-Book record of Student Affairs Department of the University of Benin, which ordinarily is the conclusive Book of Record to show that certain person had a notorious pedigree for bad behavior in that University, while a student. Again, the public is yet to see the victim of the alleged acid bath, neither has anybody come forward as the victim’s relative to confirm to the public that POI once bathed one of their own with acid at UNIBEN. At least it is not possible that the acclaimed victim, his friends and relatives are all now dead.
By the time you ask those who are circulating the above wicked and unfounded information to substantiate their allegations, the only thing you will hear them say is that na Oshiomole talk am for 2016.
From some public quarters also, it is being wrongly alleged that Pst OSAGIE IZE-IYAMU did not graduate as a Law Student from the University of Benin, and as a result, he did not go to the Nigeria Law School, that he was not called to the Nigerian Bar, and therefore, he is not a Barrister. This is not only malicious but also a very misleading information. The accurate information is that Pst (Dr.) ANDREW OSAGIE IZE-IYAMU, Esq. is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, and a bona fide Senior Member of the Nigeria Bar Association, Benin Branch. His current NBA Annual Practicing Fee is Twenty Five Thousand (N25,000:00) naira, which is the amount payable by the cadre of lawyers with over 25 years of Post Call. Just last year, POI was honored with a Lifetime Achiever Award by NBA Benin Branch in recognition of his outstanding public credentials, and for being a worthy Ambassador of the Body of Lawyers in Nigeria.
The issue about N700 million, POI, and the EFCC is another wrongly represented story in the public domain. In 2015, Pst OSAGIE IZE-IYAMU was appointed the Edo State Director General of the PDP Presidential Campaign for Dr. Goidluck Ebele Jonathan. POI’s major task was to mobilize Edo people, and coordinate the entire Campaign Project, subject to the supervision by the leadership of the Party in the State. The sum of Seven Hundred Million (N700,000,000:00) naira was released from the national headquarters of PDP to the State leadership of the Party to meet the electioneering expenses in Edo. It’s on record that Pst OSAGIE IZE-IYAMU firmly delivered Edo State in a landslide victory for the PDP. Now, the issue before the Court is actually not that the N700 million was embezzled by the Accused Persons. But that the process of spending the money in issue WAS NOT CHANNELLED through the Bank in accordance with the strict provisions of section 1(a) and (b) of the Money Laundering Act. Evidence in record of how the money was deployed for the election across the 18 Local Government Areas of Edo State has revealed that the amount of money that was spent was even in excess of the N700 million provided for the project. The EFCC is not prosecuting the Accused Persons that they “STOLE N700 million”. Because the issue of anybody STEALING the money did not arise at all!!
Again, when you ask those circulating this false information about stolen N700 million to substantiate their allegations against POI, all you will hear them say is, but Oshiomole talk am for 2016 na!!
Most recently, some persons have wrongly faulted Pst OSAGIE IZE-IYAMU for dumping the PDP to join the APC. They alleged that he is too ambitious. Of course being ambitious is a national right and duty of every living person. Otherwise, a person becomes a wasteful liability to the society. But in reality, POI has not done anything wrong within the parameters of law by changing his membership political Party!! In fact, under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Christian scripture, it is the Fundamental Right of persons to Freedom of Association and Freedom of Choice to choose where to belong or who to associate with. Therefore, it is neither a crime nor a sin for any human being to appropriately exercise these Rights. Even the Electoral Act and the Constitution of various Political Parties does not make it an offence for their members to leave their Parties, to join another one whenever they choose. After all, as it is in Nigeria today, there is clear cut ideological boundary between political Parties. What has become most important is the character and capacity of the persons who are seeking elective positions in government. So there is no civilse law or moral Rule that compels anyone to stay put and die in a union that is not favorable to his legitimate wellbeing. Assuming you are embarking on a journey, and by chance you find yourself in the same vehicle with people who do not have a destination, common sense calculation demands that you dump such company, and move on Pst OSAGIE IZE-IYAMU won’t be an exception in this scenario!!
Meanwhile, some other persons are still blaming POI for coming back to work with Comrade Adams Oshiomole after all the damaging things Oshiomole said against him in public. But they fail to realize that the game of politics is not different from the games of Boxing or Football. While on opposite sides, we do all we can to win against the opponents. This does not make members of the opposing team archenemies or lifetime enemies. They could still become Team Mates tomorrow. On the other side of the coin, POI as a Pastor is a man whose heart does not accommodate bitterness against anyone. As a Lawyer, he understands the legal meaning of Vulgar Abuse to the effect that whatever is said by anyone against another in the heat of “quarrel or anger” does not really come from the heart of the person saying it, and should be taken seriously in most cases. After all, we have seen some husbands and their wives call themselves unprintable names in public in the heat of quarrel. But they still end up reconciling their differences, come together again happier and stronger than they ever were. There is no perfect relationship anywhere in life. Occasional disagreement is natural and healthy amongst groups and individuals. Let us not encourage politics of bitterness and permanent enmity by condemning people who have demonstrated a forgiving spirit.
Pst OSAGIE IZE-IYAMU is not a self acclaimed pastor who owns a Church to himself. He is an ordained Pastor in the Redeem Christian Church of God. He has been so ordained for not less than 17yrs running. He has pastored different branches and parishes in the Redeemed Church, and has risen through the ranks to become a Provincial Pastor of the Church. His ordination as a pastor predates his Governorship project. POI has distinguished himself as an exemplary leader with Godly character. Edo people deserve a humble and decent man like him to be their Governor.
Pst (Dr) ANDREW OSAGIE IZE-IYAMU, Esq. is a man with constant identity with success, excellence and resounding victory, anytime any day. He was the Director General of Adams Oshiomole’s Re-election Campaign in 2012, Oshiomole won in all the 18 Local Government Areas of Edo State. He was the Edo State Director General of the Presidential Campaign Project for PDP in 2015, he won Edo State for Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. In the 2019 general elections, POI was also the Director General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Project in Edo State for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and he also achieved a resounding victory for Atiku in Edo State.
Now can anyone tell me why the the likes of His Excellencies Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan irrespective of their Party affiliations not throw their weights behind this humble, result oriented and excellent goal getter call Pst OSAGIE IZE-IYAMU as the APC Governorship Flagbearer in the September 19th Election in Edo State??
From the above analysis, the public now has the opportunity of knowing that the whole mudslinging allegations against Pst OSAGIE IZE-IYAMU are nothing but malicious falsehood, sponsored by his Political Opponents who cannot measure up with his level of excellence. Let’s challenge them to stop their frivolous Campaigns against POI. Let’s charge them to compaign with their credentials and tell the Electorates what they got to offer, if they truly have any. Godwin Obaseki and the PDP should show to Edo people the proofs of how competent, qualified and prepared they are for the business of governance. They should stop compiling unfounded and expired videos of what Oshiomole said against Pst OSAGIE IZE-IYAMU in the heat of 2016 Governorship Election in Edo State.
As stakeholders, we all have a duty to discourage politics of bitterness, but to promote the concept of issues based politics. As we do these, there shall be a saner and better society for all of us. Let us refrain from spoiling others. Because what goes around comes around!!
Who God has blessed: let no man contend with him!!
Barr. PATRICK I. BIOSE is a Legal Practitioner & a Property Development/ Management Consultant. He is based in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.
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