The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate for the September 10 governorship election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has urged the electorate to return the state to the PDP with their votes.
Mr. Ize-Iyamu lamented that Edo was the only state in the South-south geo-political zone that does not have a PDP governor.
Edo State is governed by the All Progressives Congress, which is looking to consolidate its hold when the people go to the polls to elect a successor to Governor Adams Oshiomhole next month.
The PDP candidate, who addressed Ijaw communities in riverine areas of the state, said reclaiming Edo from the APC will hasten regional integration.
“Edo is the only state that is not PDP in the South-south and deserves to return to the PDP fold so that it is not left out. The way the country is going today, we need to be together and this can bring lots of benefits through regional integration.
“It will be my pleasure as governor to ensure that a lot of the things you asked to be done in Ijaw communities are considered and given due attention”, he said.
Earlier, the Ijaw communities scattered in five major clans namely Olodiama, Egbema, Gbaraun, Furupagha and Okomu in Ovia Northeast, Ovia Southwest and Ikpoba-okha local governments of the state, lamented the abject neglect they have suffered under the outgoing APC state government and called for the creation of development centres in the state.
The centres, which they said are now operational in several states, will give them a sense of belonging.
In an address of welcome presented to the campaign team to Gelegelegbene community led by the PDP state chairman, Chief Dan Orbih and read by Chief Robinson Ogunkoru, the Ijaw communities said they last tasted government presence under a PDP state government.
“We call for the creation of development centres in each of our five clans which will stand as a gap for the development of our areas and in order to give us a sense of belonging as it is in some other states.
“We are aware that it was the PDP that gave recognition to Ijaw voice in Edo State. Today, Ijaw voice is heard in the state broadcasting service both in the radio and television”, Ogunkoru said.
Acknowledging that the SIMPLE agenda of Pastor Ize-Iyamu was detailed and articulates the many challenges facing Edo State, the Ijaw communities appealed that he adhere strictly to the agenda if elected the governor.
In his address, the Edo PDP chair assured the Ijaw communities that the PDP will keep faith with its promises once it assumes office.
While pleading with eligible voters in the communities not to sell their votes for a paltry sum of N2, 000 but to turn out in large numbers on Election Day, Mr. Orbih urged them to vote for the PDP and wait for the results to be declared before going home.
The campaign train had earlier stopped at Ughoton community, Ovia northeast local government, where the PDP candidate’s grandmother, Igbinoghene Ize-Iyamu (nee Ogiemwanre Obazuwaye), hailed from.