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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Our Governors Not At Edo State Governorship Election, Say Lagos, Kaduna Governments

The governments of Lagos and Kaduna States in separate statements on Wednesday dismissed an allegation by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Edo State governorship contest, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu there that their governors, Akinwunmi Ambode and Nasir El Rufai, were present in the State for the event.

In his response, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, described the allegations by the Pastor Ize-Iyamu as reckless and disgraceful.

Samuel Aruwan, the spokesman of the Kaduna State governor, expressed satisfaction that Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole had already confirmed Mr. El-Rufai was nowhere near the state.

“This clarification is made only to affirm a material fact,” he said in his statement.  “But it is important to stress that the laws of this country do not prevent any citizen from being in any part of the country. While movement may be restricted on election days, that is not the same thing as construing the presence of any citizen in a state holding election as illegal, unusual or irregular.”

Mr. Ayorinde affirmed that Governor Ambode was an official assignment abroad, and in any event had no business being in Edo State on Election Day.

“The Lagos State Governor served as the chairman Campaign Council constituted by the All Progressives Congress  and his duty ended 24 hours before the election because no campaign was supposed to hold 24 hours to the election and having completed his assignment which included appearing with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Grand Rally in Edo State earlier in the month, Governor Ambode has no reason to return to Edo State on election day and for this sort of lie to have been peddled by a candidate who is supposed to be a pastor, is reckless and disgraceful.

He noted that Governor Ambode had clearly enumerated his position on the election during the Grand Finale of the campaign when he said that like Lagos where continuity has moved perfectly well, Edo State also deserves continuity in governance.

“That message has been passed and has been accepted by a majority of Edo indigenes and therefore there would not be any need for the Governor to return to Edo on Election Day. The general public and security operatives are hereby advised to ignore the desperate lies of Pastor Ize-Iyamu,” the commissioner said.

Mr. Aruwan recalled a similar allegation arose in Anambra State during the last governorship election there, resulting in Mr. El-Rufai being restricted to his hotel room by security agents who tried to cast a Nigerian as alien simply for being in another state during an election.

“Malam El-Rufai challenged this violation of his right in court,” he noted.  “And a court ruled in his favour. Those who are seeking power should be careful not to be violating constitutional rights in that quest. And they should not say what they do not know to be true.”

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