Piqued by the political violence near the palace of the Oba of Benin on Saturday, prominent leaders in Edo State on Sunday carpeted Pastor Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for creating crisis in the state.
They also commended Governor Godwin Obaseki for the feats recorded in the state.
In a meeting in Benin, the leaders resolved to remain firm in their opposition to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Gani Audu.
The 160 member forum pointed accusing fingers at some APC chieftains in the state, who they alleged were engineering political violence with a view to destabilizing the parts of the state which rejected the APC gubernatorial candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his running mate, Gani Audu.
‘’Godwin Obaseki and Phillip Shaibu dislocated the support base of APC chieftains in Edo State’’ the elders said.
In a statement after the meeting in Benin City, the leaders called on political associates of former APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to understand the processes of political development and change.
Particularly, the leaders appealed to the youths in the state not to allow themselves to be used by disgruntled politicians to cause mayhem that could derail the electoral process.
Signed by Chief Innocent Momoh, the leaders alleged that some APC chieftains were masterminding crisis in the state continually for political reasons.
Referring to the ugly event near the palace of the Benin monarch, the leaders alleged that supporters of Oshiomhole and Ize-Iyamu fired deadly weapons at the good people of Edo State.
The leaders also emphasized Obaseki’s firm control over the political machinery of the state, the solid network of allies that he has and the followership he is attracting based on his performance and leadership style.
They urged Ize-Iyamu to clear himself of the corruption charges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and statements credited to the former APC national chairman.
‘’There had been a lot of questions about his past records and he should be ashamed that his name is mentioned in relation to corruption, of wrong doings and improper behavior in this country. He has to claim responsibility for his past actions and seek forgiveness from the good people of Edo State’’.
The elders from the eighteen local government areas said they reinstated their position taken last month in Auchi.
‘’Ize-Iyamu is not the kind of creature that the state wants. Pastor Ize-Iyamu will not be the governor of Edo State’’ the leaders said.
The notable leaders under the aegis of the Edo Elders Forum (EEF) have been in forefront of the anti-electoral violence campaign ahead of the September governorship election.