Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has pooh-poohed an audio and video recording, being circulated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) on various media platforms, in which its (PDP) governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, was purported to have said that, when elected as governor, he would declare a public holiday to celebrate annually the birthday of the Esama’s of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Iginedion.
In a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Chris Nehikhare, the PDP said that because of the outstanding profile and acceptance of Pastor Ize -Iyamu by the vast majority of Edo electorate, the APC, which is contending with dwindling goodwill, had mischievously doctored the recording to portray Pastor Ize-Iyamu in bad light in the court of public opinion.
According to the PDP, “It has come to our attention that a video is being circulated in both the conventional media and Social Media, in which our governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is purported to have said that in a PDP government under his administration, the state government will declare a public holiday to celebrate annually, the birthday of the highly respected Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion.
“We want to say that the video in circulation is not a true reflection of what Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu said on the occasion in reference. The said video is maliciously doctored and it is intended to portray our outstanding candidate in bad light in the court of public opinion. Just by reading his lips in the clip, you will see that the spoken words are super-imposed over the words coming out of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s mouth.
“Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu never said that he would, as governor, declare a public holiday in Edo State to celebrate the birthday of the Esama of Benin. He also never said that the state shall take responsibility for the elaborate celebration, which the Esama has been sponsoring by himself for so long a time that is lost to memory.
“The PDP, with all sense of responsibility and emphasis, wishes to assure the good people of Edo State that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu does not intend to host at the expense of the State or declare a public holiday in celebration of the Esama’s birthday if by the goodwill of the people, he is returned elected as governor on September 28.”
The PDP added that “This dubious antic of the agents of the APC and other shenanigans that need not be mentioned since the postponement of the election that was earlier scheduled for September 10, have brought to the fore the self-serving reasons why the election was postponed.
“It was to enable the APC buy time to execute all kinds of Machiavellian schemes in the hope that they can deceive the electorate, while plotting with compromised election agents of government to rig the poll.
“We are fully confident that Edo people have become more discerning and can therefore not be deceived by the cheap tricks of a failed party that betrayed their expectations and can no longer be trusted.
“The PDP is also convinced of the fact that the belief and trust that the suffering masses of Edo cannot be eroded by the propaganda of the APC.
“It is important to state here that the PDP government under the leadership of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu shall manage the resources of the state prudently, judiciously, accountably and in the interest of all.
“Our government will not be profligate or patronizing of a few like the incumbent APC government which goes around with a mask of hypocrisy.”
The PDP continued: “Having said, this we want to acknowledge the fact that we are proud of our relationship with the universally acclaimed entrepreneur and philanthropist per excellence, Sir, Chief, Dr. Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin.
“We are proud to say that this rare personage whose table hosts kings and heads of nations all year round is a leader of the PDP.
“We hope to take advantage of his rare connections to advance the development of Edo State as espoused by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu in his published covenant called the SIMPLE Agenda.
“As Edo people prepare to cast their vote to ‘change the change’ on September 28, we appeal to them to discount the video in question here and all other forms of propaganda by the APC.
“Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu would build a state where the state cares and the people care for one another. Compassion and love will be abundant.”