The United State Consul-General to Nigeria, John Bray has charged all political parties’ candidates in the September 10 governorship election to see the poll as a contest and not a ring of war.
Consul Bray in company of the Economic Officer of the United State Consulate in Nigeria, James Plasman who were on a courtesy visit to the Chairman of the Edo State and Strategy Team (EST), Mr Godwin Obaseki, in Benin City, Tuesday, advised that political gladiators in the state must be aware that the international community is waiting anxiously to see a violence free election.
He assured the Edo State government of a sustained working environment saying matters of economic importance such as agriculture, power, (the Agro Power Projects which they are committing $50 million through USAID), peace in the Niger-Delta and matters bothering on youth empowerment were top on their priority list.
“We are in the state for the upcoming election, just letting them know the international community is watching for a free, fair and transparent election. So we are trying to make that point to all the gladiators”, he said.
Respponding, Obaseki, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, with his running mate, Rt Hon Philip Shaibu who received the delegation, thanked them for the visit which he said will go a long way in sustaining the mutual working relationship between the United States and Edo state.
Meanwhile, running mate to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Edo State, John Yakubu, has accused Governor Adams Oshiomhole of using his power to stop the award of contracts for the control of two erosion sites in the Edo Central Senatorial District of the state.
The PDP governorship running mate also accused Oshiomhole of hatred for the Esan nation and its people, urged the Esan people to shun the APC and it’s candidate at the September 10 gubernatorial polls.
Yakubu made the allegations while speaking at the palace of the traditional ruler of Ogwa in Esan West Local Government Area of the state, HRM Vincent Ehizojie II, when the state chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih, led the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and other party faithful to a campaign train in the council.
He said the Federal government was misinformed by Governor Oshiomhole to stop the Uhen and Ibore Erosion projects because he (Oshiomhole) was not consulted about them and that they were not priority projects.
Explaining that the office of the Secretary to the Federal Government had through the office of the Ecological Fund had placed advertisement in the a national daily asking qualified contractors to send pre-qualification tenders for the two erosion control projects, Yakubu read out a letter allegedly dated November 11, 2015, by the Edo State government though which it stopped the projects.
He said, Governor Oshiomhole, in the second paragraph of the letter wrote to the Federal government that “the advertisement came to me as a surprise as no one consulted me on which of the gully erosion sites is of priority”.
In his speech, PDP governorship candidate, Pastor Ize-Iyamu said in paragraph five of the letter, Governor Oshiomhole said “it will be highly appreciated if the Secretary to the Federal Government will authorize the stoppage of the projects as they were not brought to the attention of the Edo State government.”
Ize-Iyamu, who presented a copy of the letter to the Onogie of Ogwa, HRM Vincent Ehizojie II, said it was ironic that a government which claimed to love Esanland like Oshiomhole’s would descend to such extent.
He thereafter presented copies of his campaign manifesto entitled ‘Simple Agenda’ to the traditional ruler and appealed to the people of Ogwa and Ujiogba communities to rally support for the PDP to win the September 10 governorship election.